Yesterday, the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) gave UFC fighter, Nick Diaz, a five year suspension for failing a random drug test. What god-awful performance enhancing drug was Diaz found to be taking, you may ask?
Yes. Five years for a substance that half the country has, at one level or another, made legal for consumption. This was after they considered a lifetime ban. In addition to the suspension, the commission also fined Diaz $165,000.
Diaz, 32, who has been a professional competitor since 2001, is receiving the suspension for failing a post-fight drug test he was administered following his January 19th face-off with Anderson Silva. It was his third offense to date. Silva also failed his drug test, not for marijuana, but for Drostanolone, a known anabolic steroid. Strangely, his suspension will only last one year.
The fact that Diaz is a card carrying medical patient in the state of California apparently has no bearing with the NSAC, who have not adjusted their drug policy to reflect the growing trend of legalization within the U.S.
“Nick is a naturalist by heart,” Diaz’s manager, Cesar Gracie, stated after a similar incident back in 2008, “He thinks Ritalin is an amphetamine. He thinks that’s really bad for you. People with ADD are kind of hyper, so he has trouble sleeping. He got the medical marijuana card and he takes his pot to go to sleep and be more focused.”
Diaz spoke with the press immediately following the decision and apparently had plenty on his mind. Sadly, in his 12 minute tirade against both the NSAC and the UFC, he didn’t once defend his marijuana use or address the organization’s lack of progress in recognition of the plant as a legitimate medicine. Instead, he framed the decision as a personal sabotage.
“I’m pretty pissed off,” he told reporters outside NSAC headquarters. “This sport, this commission, everybody, they’ve done everything they can to . . . keep me from proving to the world that I am the best fighter in the world, which I am. They want to have nothing but weak sauce fighters in the sport, if you want to call it a sport.”
Throughout his statement, Diaz struggled to keep his cool about the situation and at a few moments, let his aggression get the best of him.
“I’m like, y’all can get knocked the fuck out, all of you whole little—everybody in the room right now,” he said of the commission heads, with whom he had just met. He didn’t just have words for the NSAC either. In his anger, he called out the entire sport for their alleged hypocrisy.
“I know all the fighters. And they are all on steroids. All you motherfuckers are on steroids!” he stated emphatically, pointing his finger straight into the camera. “I’m the only person in this sport, for the most part, that ain’t on steroids.”