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Lawyer for Nick Diaz challenges NSAC suspension: 'Nothing in the rules prohibits marijuana metabolites'

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Looks like the one year suspension of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight Nick Diaz may not be a foregone conclusion after all.

Diaz, who dropped a controversial five round unanimous decision to Carlos Condit last month in Las Vegas, flunked his UFC 143: "Diaz vs. Condit" drug test for marijuana metabolites, drawing the ire of promotion president Dana White and earning what at the time was believed to be a mandatory suspension.

Not so fast.

The former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion hired Ross Goodman from the Las Vegas Goodman Law Group to challenge not the results of the test, but how they are applicable (from a legal perspective) to his client's most recent appearance inside the Octagon.

Goodman lays out a surprisingly effective argument (via ESPN.com) after the jump.

[The] suspension is unwarranted, according to Diaz's attorney, Ross Goodman, who states that "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 told ESPN.com.

"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."

Diaz and his camp have said the fighter suspends his use of marijuana eight days prior to a contest. Under the statues set forth by the NSAC, athletes are not punished for using marijuana out-of-competition.

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?"

According to the report, Diaz has a prescription for medical marijuana after being diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which is legal in both Nevada and his home state of California.

Goodman also contests that his client's drug use should be considered "out of competition" as it was stopped eight days before for the fight and that marijuana metabolites do not qualify as "drugs of abuse" -- nor are they listed as a prohibited substance.

For more background on Diaz and his UFC 143 drug test click here. To read Goodman's response to the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) in its entirety click here

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