While Nick Diaz is set to grapple Braulio Estima, his lawyer, Ross Goodman, continues to grapple with the Nevada State Athletic Commission over his failed drug test announced after his UFC 143 loss to Carlos Condit. Diaz was originally only facing punishment for his failed drug test, but subsequent statements from Diaz lead to an amended complaint that included the additional charge of providing “false or misleading” information for not disclosing his medicinal marijuana usage.
Goodman contends that Diaz should not be suspended since the metabolites in Diaz’s system are not explicitly listed on the list of banned substances. Goodman is also challenging that Diaz was out of competition when he smoked, since marijuana is technically not banned for out of competition use. That assertion is unlikely to matter much to NSAC however, as Diaz admitted to smoking within two weeks of the fight. This matters since the medical form asks for all medications taken 2 weeks prior to the fight, a period that can count as “in competition.”
As for the charge of providing “false or misleading” information, Goodman argues that Diaz could not have known that he had to disclose the medicinal marijuana since it is not technically a prescription drug nor technically an over-the-counter drug.
Ironically, it was Goodman’s original response to the NSAC complaint that led to the additional NSAC complaint. NSAC argues that since California’s laws on medicinal marijuana require that the person must suffer from a serious medical illness to receive a recommendation, that Diaz was obligated to notify the NSAC.
Goodman maintains that there was no way Diaz was qualified to state his condition on the questionnaire, and that any omitted information on the questionnaire was a result of ambiguity in the questions and not malicious.
According to MMAJunkie, NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer says that Diaz’s camp has yet to schedule a hearing with the commission nor has he submitted other information, including his medical marijuana card, to the commission.
Once the hearing is set, Diaz will be facing several possible punishments since he was previously suspended by Nevada once before. While his lawyer could possibly get Diaz off on the charges, the NSAC’s recent crackdown on athletes who test positive could prove problematic.