Photo via ESPN.com.
Ross Goodman, attorney for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight Nick Diaz, is taking the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) to task for trying to "knock" his client prior to their upcoming disciplinary hearing.
Diaz tested positive for marijuana metabolites following his five round unanimous decision loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 143, which was held on Feb. 4, 2012 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The NSAC 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.
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. But since a doctor is unable to legally prescribe pot, the line of questioning could be subject to interpretation.
And as Goodman argues (via Sherdog.com), that's the commission's fault, not his client's:
"The point is that he’s not being untruthful about it; he’s not lying about it. But if it is a concern, then the athletic commission needs to be more progressive and modify the rules, instead of, after the fact, trying to find something to blame Nick Diaz on because they have a losing argument right now. Why don’t you be proactive? Why don’t you be responsible and why don’t you write questions that are reasonable and clear for somebody to understand and say, 'Have you taken medical marijuana in the last two weeks? Have you done this? Have you done that?' Instead of, after the fact, try and suggest that he was untruthful because he didn’t identify with prescription medication as a form of medical marijuana? ... The burden is on the state, the regulatory agency. The commission’s trying to find whatever they can to knock Nick Diaz, but Nick is just a fighter. It’s up to them to craft better questions on their pre-fight questionnaire; it’s up to them to do better testing if that’s what they want to do. Nick’s not responsible for any of this. If they want to be more accurate, if they want to have better pre-fight questionnaires, then it’s up to the athletic commission, the governing body, to do it, not a fighter."
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.
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.