UFC’s Most Controversial Welterweight Fights Back Against The Nevada State Athletic Commission … And You Can Read His Lawyers’ Entire Argument Against The NSAC Here!
Nick Diaz has hired a high profile law firm, and the battle is on regarding the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s complain for disciplinary action that he tested positive for a prohibited substance following his UFC 143 main event against Carlos Condit on February 4th in Las Vegas.
Diaz’s lawyers filed their response on March 7, contesting the decision by the NSAC to temporarily suspend Diaz’s license to fight following the findings of a urine test in which Diaz tested positive for “marijuana metabolites.”
According to Diaz’s attorney, Ross Goodman, “marijuana metabolites” are not a prohibited substance according to the list used by the NSAC, which is adopted from the World Anti-Doping Agency. “Marijuana is the only substance that is prohibited; not marijuana metabolites,” Goodman stated yesterday, “The basis to discipline Mr. Diaz is that he tested positive for a prohibited substance. We know he didn’t test positive for marijuana. So, you look to see at WADA whether marijuana metabolites are prohibited. They do not prohibit it in any category.”
In a sworn affidavit submitted with the response, Diaz stated he has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and has been prescribed medical marijuana as treatment by his physician, Robert E. Sullivan. Medical marijuana is legal in both Nevada and California, the State in which Diaz resides.
Diaz and his camp have said the fighter suspends his use of marijuana eight days prior to a contest. Under the statutes set forth by the NSAC, athletes are not punished for using marijuana out-of-competition.
Goodman asserts the substance Diaz tested positive for was THC-Carboxylic Acid, an inactive marijuana metabolite. NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer was unavailable to comment on that claim Monday when ESPN attempted to reach him.
The response filed to the commission by the Goodman law firm asserts strongly that Diaz merely tested positive for an inactive metabolite, which is not listed as a prohibited substance.
“You have to test positive for marijuana, as opposed to this inactive ingredient Nick did,” Goodman said. “If there’s nothing in the rules prohibiting marijuana metabolites, why are we here?”
Athletes are provided the option to submit an application to the NSAC requesting therapeutic exemptions for different substances. Goodman asserts that Diaz did not avail himself of that option because he discontinues use eight days before a contest, which Goodman says is long enough for the effects of the active compound in marijuana, THC, to wear off.
In the response to the NSAC, Goodman asserts that the “long detection window” of marijuana in a person’s system is a potential reason why WADA does not include metabolites on its banned substance list.
The assertion by the Goodman firm is that since marijuana is not prohibited to athletes out-of-competition per commission standards, it would be unreasonable for its banned substance list to contain marijuana metabolites.
“Why punish Nick, or anybody else for that matter, for a metabolite?” Goodman stated. “We’re not talking about a cocaine metabolite. We’re not talking about something illegal. We’re talking about a metabolite that stays in your system for weeks or months.”
In 2007, Nick Diaz tested positive for marijuana following his submission victory over Takanori Gomi in Las Vegas, resulting in a six month suspension and the result changed to a no-contest. Being flagged on this marijuana drug screening could result in a one year suspension.
A formal hearing to sentence Diaz was expected to take place in April, but Goodman told ESPN that date might be delayed due to Monday’s filing. You can almost place bets on that being the case.
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