Diaz Camp Issues Response to NSAC Complaint, Claims Marijuana Metabolites Not Prohibited

By Mike Whitman Mar 13, 2012



Nick Diaz’s attorney has issued a written response to the Nevada State Athletic Commission in regard to the disciplinary complaint filed by the NSAC after Diaz’s headlining Feb. 4 contest with Carlos Condit at UFC 143 in Las Vegas.

Diaz tested positive for marijuana metabolites in a post-fight urine test, and a complaint was filed by NSAC Executive Director Keith Kizer, resulting in a temporary suspension for the fighter pending a disciplinary hearing. In response, Diaz’s counsel, Ross C. Goodman of Goodman Law Group in Las Vegas, issued a letter on Diaz’s behalf on March 7, contending that the fighter should not be subjected to discipline as a result of the test.

Sherdog.com obtained a copy of the response on Tuesday afternoon. In the six-page document, Goodman makes a series of assertions, first among them being that marijuana metabolite [THC-carboxylic acid that was flagged in Diaz’s test] is not described by the NSAC as prohibited for legal users of marijuana. Diaz is a legally recognized medical marijuana patient in California, having been prescribed the drug to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. As such, Goodman contends that the presence of the carboxylic acid in Diaz’s urine sample “cannot serve as a basis for discipline.”

Second, Goodman submits that the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) does not ban out-of-competition marijuana use, nor does it recognize marijuana metabolite as a prohibited substance due to the long detection period associated with marijuana consumption. As the NSAC has adopted the WADA International Standard, Goodman argues, Diaz’s out-of-competition marijuana use should not result in a penalty.

Attached to the letter, Diaz submitted a sworn affidavit detailing his use of marijuana, asserting that he ceases use of the prescribed drug eight days prior to his fights, as he did before his showdown with Condit. Goodman makes use of that affidavit -- as well as an affidavit from organic chemistry expert John Hiatt, Ph.D. -- to argue that Diaz’s positive urine test for the inactive metabolite was due to his aforementioned medicinal use of marijuana and does not constitute a violation.

A former Strikeforce welterweight champion, Diaz fell to Condit via contentious unanimous decision at UFC 143, publicly announcing his retirement and disdain for the judges’ verdict after the bout. This instance marks the second time that Diaz has been flagged by the NSAC, as he was suspended for six months and fined after testing positive for marijuana following a 2007 bout with Takanori Gomi. Diaz’s disciplinary hearing is expected to take place in the coming months, though no date has been set by the commission as of yet.
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