My God. Today’s NSAC meeting, which determined both Chael Sonnen’s future ability to continue
legally injecting steroids testosterone replacement therapy and Nick Diaz’s minimum retirement length was like watching Lawrence of Arabia, twice, minus all of the train explosions and shots of interesting desert landscapes. To describe the six hour hearing in a word: humdrum. Thankfully, we’ll be much briefer in summing up what went down.
To kick off the afternoon, Sonnen was successful in achieving a therapeutic use exemption for testosterone replacement therapy, and now joins the like of Dan Henderson, Todd Duffee, and Shane Roller in the select group of MMA fighters to receive an exemption from the Nevada State Athletic Commission. As far as interesting developments go, Sonnen admitted that he injected himself with testosterone, stating, ”I administer two times a week, every Sunday and Thursday. It’s self-injected intermusculatory and [I] consider it to be a prescription.” When Commissioner Pat Lundvall asked why Sonnen had never listed using testosterone on his medical forms over the past few years, Sonnen stated that he was under the impression that it wasn’t something that needed to be disclosed. He also stated under oath that he “has never taken anabolic steroids.”
In another interesting moment, which took place before the hearing truly began, Keith Kizer likened TRT to “the new Viagra” as doctors continue to push it on the population and that “Therapuetic Use Exemptions do not allow you to test outside of normal ranges. It only allows for presence of synthetics.” Does this make Sonnen TRT’s Smiling Bob? Only time will tell.
And with that, Sonnen was granted an exemption on the grounds that he will undergo several blood tests both before and after UFC 148 to monitor his injections. The commission then asked if Sonnen would help them as an adviser on TRT in the future, which he gladly accepted.
Let’s move on to Diaz, who, true to form, did not pull any punches when answering his questions. When asked approximately when he began smoking marijuana again after his 2007 hearing with the NSAC, something Diaz swore he would never do again during said hearing, Diaz admitting to smoking weed pretty much immediately afterward upon returning home. Twenty-four year old Dave Chapelle approves. But the main issue was not when exactly Diaz had started dating Mary Jane again, or how early he broke it off with her before his fight with Carlos Condit at UFC 143, but rather why he lied on his pre-fight questionnaire when he stated that he was not taking any prescription or over-the-counter drugs at the time. The argument Diaz and lawyer Les Grossman attempted to make was an old stand-by for Diaz: ignorance.
According to Diaz and Grossman, Diaz was not aware that his marijuana usage did in fact fall under the terms of either prescription or OTC usage, simply because Diaz did not think his medically diagnosed ADHD was serious enough to be listed on the questionnaire. Also, being that Diaz neither obtained his medical marijuana through a prescription or over-the-counter means, but rather through a doctor’s statement, that Diaz should not be held entirely accountable for his actions. Diaz stated that he often obtained his medical marijuana through other friends who also had physician statements (yeah, same here bro) or at cannabis dispensaries located near his home, whichever was more convenient. Diaz also stated that he was diagnosed with ADHD in the second grade, and that although he began smoking pot for purely recreational purposes, looking back, he considered it more therapeutic than anything.
Although the commission wasn’t exactly out to make Diaz look like a fool, and seemed more than willing to hear his argument, their deliberation was so short that I could barely step outside to help cure my own self-diagnosed eating disorder, if you know what I mean, before the ruling had been handed down.
12 months, and thirty percent of Diaz’s UFC 143 purse and bonus.
Combine that with Grossman’s substantial fees, and that sure doesn’t leave him a whole lot to retire on, so expect to see Diaz back in the octagon once his suspension is up. Hopefully he’ll show up for the fight this time.