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After Nick Diaz was suspended by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for failing a post-fight drug test and lost his appeal, he and his freshly-acquired legal team threatened to sue the NSAC in order to get the Stockton native reinstated. On Thursday, they made good on their threat.
Diaz's suit centers on three allegations, two of which relate to statutory complaints for which he seeks injunctive relief -- namely, to have the temporary suspension lifted and to not be required to go any further punitive proceedings. The other allegation focuses on Diaz's due process rights, the NSAC's violation of which entitles Diaz to both injunctive and declaratory relief, according to the lawsuit.
Diaz is arguing the NSAC is in violation of two statutory codes. First, statutory code NRS 233B, requires the commission to determine the outcome through proceedings related to the order of a summary suspension within 45 days of the date of the suspension.
Diaz and his lawyers argue this term has passed without any date set for a hearing. "Diaz's license has, in effect, been suspended indefinitely," says the lawsuit, "in the absence of any adverse findings having been made against him by the NSAC."
Diaz's complaint also cites breach of statute NRS 467.117, which requires that a "temporary suspension may be made only where the action is necessary to protect the public welfare". In other words, Diaz's temporary suspension is unlawful because no basis has been established that demonstrates suspending Diaz was done as a matter of preserving public health.
Citing the alleged violation of these two statutes by the NSAC, Diaz's complaint asks the court to enjoin NSAC from proceeding with any further punitive proceedings because "the NSAC has lost statutory jurisdiction to proceed with the complaint."
This story has no shortage of twists and turns. Hopefully, this case will neither turn into a circus nor get bogged down in court for years. MMA fans should just be rooting for Diaz to be back in the cage and fighting as soon as possible.
For the latest developments in the ongoing Nick Diaz saga, keep checking this StoryStream. For all news and information regarding mixed martial arts, stay tuned to either MMA Fighting or Bloody Elbow.
Nick Diaz is currently fighting a suspension given to him by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for failing a post-fight drug test following his loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 143. His lawyer, Ross Goodman, is now filing a new complaint letter against the NSAC, according to Kid Nate at Bloody Elbow.
Diaz, to the shock of no one, tested positive for marijuana in the failed test. Goodman's argument is that the presence of inactive marijuana metabolites does not provide proof that Diaz was high, or under the influence of drugs, during the fight.
The NSAC's issue is that Diaz failed to list marijuana as a prescription drug on his pre-fight questionnaire -- thus lying about his drug use. The fighter's lawyer addresses this as well.
Goodman further claims that the NSAC complaint "does not allege any facts supporting that Diaz violated a rule"and that "after the fact allegations impugning Diaz's character serve to distract from the core issue that Nevada does not prohibit inactive marijuana metabolites."
Certainly -- as with all things Nick Diaz -- this story will not be going away any time soon.
Following his decision loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 143, Nick Diaz famously suggested he was retiring due to his disgust at the result of the fight. He then equally-famously failed his post-fight drug test and was suspended for one year by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Tim Burke at Bloody Elbow reports that Diaz has hired a lawyer -- Ross Goodman -- and now plans to fight the suspension.
According to Goodman, 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.
The response filed to the commission, therefore, challenges 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?"
This seems to raise the question of why a retired fighter would challenge a one-year suspension. Yes, perhaps Diaz is not interested in forfeiting his share of the purse, but it seems much more likely that he has no intention of retiring at all, which Bay Area MMA fans likely already knew.
This is something that everybody saw coming, but it's worth noting anyway - Nick Diaz has been levied a temporary suspension from competition in Nevada following a positive test for marijuana. The positive test came after his fight with Carlos Condit at UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit, and now it's pretty clear there won't be a rematch any time soon. Diaz' post-fight antics included retiring and suggesting that Condit fighting to his gameplan was cheap.
Either way, the Nevada State Athletic Commission voted unanimously to suspend Diaz until an official disciplinary hearing later on in 2012, likely for April. At that point, Diaz can argue his case as to why he doesn't deserve a full suspension and the revocation of his license to fight. As noted earlier, Diaz could have applied for a medical exemption for his marijuana, which he uses medically under California state law. He did not apply for the exemption.
Diaz will have to provide plenty of information to the commission in advance of his official hearing on top of his, you know, defense. He'll need to provide information regarding his medical usage in California, will have to provide information about his purse and bonuses, and he'll need to talk about the last time this happened, back in 2007.
As previously noted, it's easy to imagine potential complications with a hearing. Diaz probably didn't really plan on going through with his retirement, but the fact that he'll have to go through all kinds of things which surely don't make sense to him (he chooses to deem things he doesn't like as "not making sense") makes it all seem unlikely. Well, perhaps unlikely isn't the right word, but it certainly can't help things, that's for sure.
As most MMA fans are now aware, Nick Diaz failed his post-fight drug test following his loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 143. The test came back positive for marijuana, throwing any potential rematch between the two fighters into jeopardy much moreso than Diaz's premature announcement of retirement immediately following the fight.
Both Nick and his brother Nate Diaz have long been unabashed fans of recreational marijuana use, but Nick actually has a marijuana prescription. Some fans have said that prescription should render any positive tests for the drug moot, but the truth is that the athletic commissions have exemptions in place for just situation and the Diaz camp never went that route.
Brent Brookhouse at Bloody Elbow explains that Keith Kizer of the Nevada State Athletic Commission explained the situation in a recent interview.
According to Kizer, though, Diaz had another option: coming to the NSAC weeks before fighting and applying for a therapeutic exemption (TUE) for his marijuana use.
Given that Diaz' coach and manager, Cesar Gracie, has made a point of saying that Diaz has a legal right to use marijuana in California since a doctor prescribed it to him, one would have expected Diaz to have applied for the exemption with the commission.
But that did not happen Kizer explains, as no one from Diaz' camp has ever attempted to explain any mitigating circumstances to him about the fighter's marijuana use or tried to contextualize it to attempt for Nick to granted a therapeutic exemption. "I have no idea what [Diaz's] marijuana situation is," Kizer told CagePotato on Thursday. "No one from his camp has ever come to me or the commission and tried to explain it."
Anyone who has been following the Diaz brothers for any length of time should be anything but surprised regarding this revelation. Understanding that there is a potential way around a possible failed drug test that Nick did not take advantage of is the least shocking thing to happen yet in this story.
UFC 143 against Carlos Condit for the interim welterweight championship. After the fight, Diaz abruptly suggested he was thinking about retirement. A short time later, his post-fight drug tests were returned with a positive reading for marijuana and a masking agent.recently lost his bout at
If Diaz does not stick to his proposed retirement -- which few are expecting at this point -- his potential rematch with Condit is in serious jeopardy based on the failure of the drug test.
Kid Nate at Bloody Elbow relays that Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) Executive Director Keith Kizer recently appeared on Sirius XM and discussed what will happen now for Diaz. This is what Kizler had to say:
The complaints have been mailed to him. He'll receive the complaint by mail and he'll have 20 days upon receipt to file an answer.
With the complaint, those are just allegations at this time. There's been no finding against him. He'll have ample opportunity to respond to the complaint and then we'd put it on for a hearing at a time that works for him as well as the Attorney General's office...Probably April based on past disciplinary complaints and at that time, there'll be a hearing before the full commission and then they make a decision at that time and if they found the athlete guilty, they'd then impose whatever discipline they felt was appropriate.
The only certainty for Nick Diaz right now is that he did, in fact not beat Carlos Condit at UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit. Had he won, it would be declared a no contest due the fact that he failed his post-fight test. On Saturday, we took a look at the possibility that the new complications with the athletic commission might push him over that edge and confirm his retirement, but it would definitely be a shame if Diaz went through with it. The main problem is that it's hard to see Diaz sitting out something like a full year, then going before a commission hearing to get back in the octagon after what went down after the match with Condit in the post-fight interview.
But Diaz is still a very good fighter who only loses to the top of the division. He's still in his prime and has a lot to offer the sport of MMA and the UFC, with plenty of attractive matchups still out there for him, including a potential rematch with Condit or a future matchup with Georges St-Pierre. Losing a matchup for the Interim Welterweight Championship doesn't mean your career is down the toilet.
According to Sherdog.com, another fighter thinks Diaz shouldn't retire either. The aforementioned St-Pierre, despite the fact that he doesn't like Diaz very much, said that Diaz shouldn't retire at this point in his career. St-Pierre says that Diaz has sacrificed too much in his life to get here to just throw it away, leaving a lot of money on the table, on top of that. St-Pierre also says that the sport needs a guy like him.
While St-Pierre does eventually say that he wants to fight Condit now that he's the "best man," he does leave open the possibility of fighting Diaz down the line.
"I wanted to fight him because of what he was, not because of what he said," St. Pierre explained. "He was ranked No. 1 before that fight. ... As much as we dislike each other, I like the guy in a way that I need a guy like him to motivate me and to make me a better martial artist."
It's clear that St-Pierre is at a point where he only wants to fight the best. It just helps that Diaz is one of the best and also gets under St-Pierre;s skin. It really would be a shame if Diaz followed through with his retirement, because the potential matchup down the line still remains just as compelling as it was before UFC 143.
With the recent news that Nick Diaz failed a post-fight urinalysis, the question now is what kind of punishment he'll be in for. After losing to Carlos Condit in the main event at UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit, the Bay Area-based fighter got on the microphone and, in so many words, said that he was going to retire because Condit wasn't going to stand in front of him and fight his fight. There's a small inkling of truth to his words in that Condit was very evasive, but he was still out-struck by a good margin.
That's not the point - the point is that Diaz could be suspended for up to a year. This is the second time he's been busted for this, and recent evidence suggests that a suspension of a year and a forfeiture of 40 percent of his purse is the course of action to be taken. Seeing as how Diaz has been publicly outspoken about his ability to beat the tests, it's unlikely he's to receive any leniency.
On top of all of that, Diaz will likely be forced to attend a long, drawn-out hearing to plead with the commission when he re-applies for his license to fight. There's not really a scenario in which Diaz legitimately applies, asks for it back, admits he's wrong and doesn't receive a license. Unfortunately, there's probably a couple scenarios in which Diaz presents himself, flips the entire commission the bird and blazes up right then and there.
And with his feet up on the table, too.
In all seriousness, this is unfortunate because if there's even the slightest chance that Diaz was serious about his retirement talk, the prospects of appearing in front of the commission and dealing with a year-long layoff might actually drive him to go through with it. His post-fight antics that were really kind of sad notwithstanding, Diaz is a wholly entertaining fighter who brings a lot to the sport. It'd be a shame if this is how he goes out.
Let's take a brief recap of what's gone on for Nick Diaz. After failing to adapt his fighting style over five rounds to be soundly out-pointed by Carlos Condit at UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit, he took to the microphone and, in so many words, said that he was going to retire because other fighters refused to play into his gameplan. Then, his camp said the same thing, and Diaz fans got all up-in-arms about him being robbed.
You won't find any Diaz haters here, but the guy lost the fight fair-and-square. Or was it fair? Diaz actually cheated, pending some kind of false positive, according to Yahoo! Sports. Diaz has failed his post-fight urinalysis, who has tested positive for marijuana metabolites. This essentially means that Diaz has tested positive for the drug and some form of masking agent to try and cheat the test.
It's not nearly as bad as taking steroids or other performance enhancers, and there are plenty who believe marijuana shouldn't be disallowed at all, but the point remains that Diaz did a very dumb thing by testing positive. It's making headlines, it's putting the UFC in a bind and Diaz will likely be suspended. A second offense for marijuana usually results in being out for a year, and a fine of 40 percent of a fighter's purse, at least going by recent disciplinary actions.
That would be a loss of $80,000 ... though Diaz likely made a lot more than the $200,000 reported purse of the fight. Either way, this will likely mean no rematch with Condit, which is a shame because it'd be a good fight and Condit agreed to said rematch, even if Diaz didn't deserve it.
There should be more on this in the coming days, but for now, the UFC has only said they're disappointed that Diaz tested positive. We'll just have to see if there's any chance of this test being a false positive. The UFC generally sides with the commission and will adhere to any punishment handed out.
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