UFC fighter Nick Diaz recently got handed a five year suspension from the Nevada State Athletic Commission over a third positive test for marijuana metabolites. The suspension effectively ended the career of the 32-year-old fighter and raised the ire of everyone paying attention.
But did Nick bring this upon himself? Not really.
The NAC’s verdict was the product of a sketchy test result and a commission unwilling to listen to reason. The highlight video above by fan BrettMamley will give you some insight into who Nick Diaz is. The information that follows explains why his suspension is bullsh*t.
Nick Diaz was tested three times on the night of his fight with Anderson Silva: at 7 p.m., at 10 p.m., and at 11 p.m. The 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. tests got sent to a World Anti Doping Agency lab. They came back clean. The 10 p.m. test was sent to Quest Diagnostics – not a WADA accredited lab, and one that’s been at the heart of a couple other recent drug test controversies recently. It came back with a ridiculously high amount of marijuana metabolites found.
There were other issues with the sample sent to Quest. Samples are not supposed to be marked with the athlete’s name, yet Nick Diaz’s name was listed on the paperwork. The form was also missing an important checkmark stating the inspector had witnessed the urine sample being taken. And worst of all, the B sample Quest had was never tested.
Those are just some of the facts surrounding the drug test results in this case. Then there’s the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s decision to ban Diaz for five years. The NAC’s own guidelines, which were recently revamped with stiffer penalties for drug failures, list the punishment for a third marijuana offense as three years. Yet they still unanimously voted to bar him for five.
Why? Watching the video feed from the hearing, it was clear that NAC members were not happy with Nick’s lawyer and his aggressive attacks on the validity of the Quest test results. Nick pleading the fifth throughout the hearing further angered them. At one point, a commission member was caught on microphone muttering about “the disrespect” being shown by Diaz and his team.
This is why so many people are rocking the #FreeNickDiaz hashtag. Who knows what this little exhibit of internet activism will bring, but Nick’s story isn’t over. His lawyer is appealing the suspension, which means his case will go to a real court where little things like evidence matter and he is much more likely to get a fair shake. But that could take years. Until then, the best we can do is not let the story die. Don’t let the NAC off the hook for capriciously ending the career of one of the best martial artists in the sport because they don’t like his attitude.
Keep talking about it. Keep tweeting about it. The louder we all are, the harder it will be for those in the system to ignore us and keep this unjust suspension in place.
(Video via BrettMamley)