I get the feeling that Ross Goodman, attorney for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight Nick Diaz, won't be touching gloves with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) when they face off at his client's upcoming disciplinary hearing.
That's because the Las Vegas lawyer is fuming over the commission's accusation that Diaz lied on his pre-fight questionnaire, where he swore that he hadn't used any prescribed medications in the two weeks before his bout against Carlos Condit at UFC 143, which was held on Feb. 4, 2012, at "Sin City's" Mandalay Bay Events Center.
Diaz tested positive for "marijuana metabolites" following his five round unanimous decision loss to "The Natural Born Killer," prompting his legal counsel 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 argues that a mandatory suspension is unwarranted because marijuana metabolites are not a prohibited substance according to the list used by the NSAC, which is adopted from the World Anti-Doping Agency.
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.
So why all the hubbub then?
The athletic commission is claiming Diaz lied on his pre-fight questionnaire (click here to see a copy), by checking "no" on a box asking if he took or received any prescription medication two weeks prior to weighing in. The presence of marijuana metabolites would argue otherwise, but technically, Diaz was telling the truth.
Goodman explains to Kevin Iole at Yahoo! Sports:
"Nowhere in there does it say that the attending physician is prescribing marijuana. And so, for obvious reasons, before you speak and call someone a liar, you think you'd do a little bit of due diligence and understand what the Nevada law actually says. Nick has a prescription for marijuana in California. He has had a prescription for the last couple years, so it's a legal drug for him. He has the prescription for ADHD [Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder], and he says it helps him. It's not like you walk into the pharmacy and start looking around on the shelves and hope to pick up a bag of marijuana. That's ridiculous. No reasonable person would believe that medical marijuana falls under the category of over the counter medications."
Goodman also contends 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.
In layman's terms, this thing is a mess.
No date has been determined for Diaz's upcoming disciplinary hearing but he's currently enjoying a self-imposed retirement, one his brother Nate expects to last indefinitely. We'll see if the results of his hearing have any influence on that decision.