In February, UFC fighter Nick Diaz had a complaint filed against him after he tested positive for marijuana use. After months of back and forth between Diaz’s attorneys and the Nevada State Athletic Commission, a decision has finally been handed down to suspend Diaz for 1 year.
Diaz was granted a hearing which lasted over 3 hours. In the meeting, Diaz had the opportunity to explain his marijuana use to the Commission. Diaz is a medical marijuana cardholder in California and uses marijuana to help him with his ADHD and focus, which he cited as being helpful during his fights. During the hearing, Diaz also discussed his positive-marijuana test in 2007 as well as his questionnaire that he filled out before UFC 143. Despite the fact that Diaz uses marijuana medically, he did not list it as a medication he was taking on the pre-fight questionnaire.
At the conclusion of the hearing, it was announced that Diaz will be suspended for 12 months from the date of his fight against Carlos Condit, UFC 143. He will be suspended until February 4, 2013. In addition, Diaz must pay 30% of his earnings from UFC 143, which is a $60,000 fine.
Because Diaz was suspended in Nevada for marijuana use in 2007, his punishment this time was more severe than what other fighters may face.
After Diaz lost to Condit in February he announced that he was retiring from UFC fighting, so the suspension does not directly impact his current career. However, the fighter has not spoken out about whether he would consider returning to fighting when his suspension is up in 2013.