After a long and often contentious hearing, the Nevada State Athletic Commission today handed down its harshest punishment on a fighter to date, voting unanimously to suspend Nick Diaz for five years after a positive marijuana test in connection with his decision loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 183. It was his third suspension for marijuana.
Diaz has also been fined 33% of his $500,000 fight purse for the main event of UFC 183 which amounts to $166,667.
Diaz and his lawyer, Lucas Middlebrook, may appeal the decision, in hopes of getting the length of the ban reduced.
Diaz’s attorney argued that his client took three tests on the night of the fight and the other two came back negative. And that’s if you agree about the validity of the test result from Quest, which Middlebrook managed to make look extremely suspect.
The second sample, which was collected by Quest Diagnostics at 10:38 p.m., but not under WADA certified procedures, returned a positive result for marijuana metabolites almost five times higher than the 150 ng/mL commission limit.
Diaz, an admitted medical-marijuana user in California, has now been suspended three separate times by the NSAC.
Diaz appeared at the hearing, often invoking the Fifth Amendment in response to questions. “I think this is a case of a complete lack of disregard for the sport”, Aguilar said. Silva was suspended for one year and fined $380,000 for failing multiple tests for anabolic steroids. UFC fighter Patrick Cote noted the disparate penalties for steroids and marijuana on Monday after the decision. Silva had his hearing a month early on August 13th. Aldo Galvan, the NAC inspector assigned to Diaz at UFC 183, testified that the samples were handled properly and sealed in Diaz’s presence. It knew that because of his suspensions for the same offense in 2007 and 2012, it would need Diaz to provide a clean test before he was licensed. “I never did steroids in my life”. All you mother–s are on steroids. I already know that. “First of all, this sport, this commission and everybody, they’ve done everything they can to keep me from being all the way on top where I should be”. They’ve done everything they could to keep me from proving to the world that I’m the best fighter in the world, which I am. They’ve always been on steroids.