The Nevada Athletic Commission’s year-long suspension of UFC
welterweight Nick Diaz
remains in place after the fighter’s petition for review in Nevada
District Court was dismissed on Friday.
Diaz was also fined 30 percent of his purse after his UFC
143 unanimous decision defeat to Carlos
Condit when his post-fight drug screen came back positive for
marijuana metabolites. The NAC’s ruling was handed down in May but
applied retroactively to the Feb. 4 fight date.
A medical marijuana patient in his home state of California, Diaz
did not list marijuana as a prescribed medication he was taking on
his pre-fight questionnaire, an issue that Diaz’s attorney and the
NAC battled over before the commission took action. Diaz, who
asserted he had stopped using marijuana eight days prior to the
Condit fight, previously tested positive for marijuana following a
2007 victory over Takanori
Gomi. The 29-year-old was suspended six months, and that win
was changed to a no-contest.
Ross Goodman, Diaz’s Nevada attorney, released the following
statement to Sherdog.com on Friday through Diaz’s legal adviser,
“Despite expressing misgivings about the vagueness and ambiguity of
the Nevada Athletic Commission’s prohibition on using marijuana
‘before’ a contest, the Nevada District Court today dismissed Nick
Diaz’s petition for judicial review of the athletic commission’s
disciplinary order made against him earlier this year.
“Judge [Joanna] Kishner was obviously troubled about due process
concerns engendered by the vagueness of the anti-doping rule. How
long before is ‘before’ under the regulation? A day? A week? Due
process requires that fighters have clear notice of what the rule
is, so they can adjust their behavior accordingly. Similar serious
concerns relate to the commission’s after-the-fact definitions of
undefined terms on the pre-fight questionnaire -- and punishing my
client for failing to correctly guess how those terms would be
“Frankly, if I had been filling out the questionnaire, I wouldn’t
have thought that marijuana was a ‘prescription’ drug either --
given that it is illegal under federal law for doctors to
‘prescribe’ marijuana. As a matter of law, a ‘physician’s
statement’ is not a prescription. I will be seeking my client’s
instructions to file an appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court
Despite his loss to Condit, Diaz is rumored to be the No. 1
contender for Georges St.
Pierre’s UFC welterweight crown, though the promotion has not
made an official announcement. Prior to his contentious unanimous
decision defeat, the southpaw had won 11 straight fights, capturing
Strikeforce’s 170-pound title in 2010 before making his Octagon
return last year against former two-division champ B.J. Penn. Diaz
battered the smaller Penn in their UFC 137 bout, using his reach
advantage to earn a unanimous verdict.