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Nick Diaz didn’t cheat, suspended by USADA anyway

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UFC 183: Silva v Nick Diaz - Post Fight Press Conference Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight No. 1 contender, Nick Diaz, has not competed inside the Octagon since his No Contest against Anderson Silva at the UFC 183 pay-per-view (PPV) event roughly three years back.

He couldn’t fight, even if he wanted to.

That’s because Diaz is suspended by United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) after failing to report his whereabouts during 2017. Under the promotion’s drug-testing program, athletes are required to provide their location at all times.

And as UFC vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky explained to Joe Rogan, Diaz has been snared multiple times over the last 12 months because of his laissez faire attitude, not because of cheating.

Transcribed by MMA Junkie:

“Nick was our first fighter that ran into the whereabouts issue. So he got three whereabouts failures in a rolling 12 months, so he’s currently going through that process. It’s a tough one. I think he does (want to fight). I’ve sat down with him over the past couple months trying to resolve this whereabouts issues. The unfortunate thing there is, look, the whereabouts failures are there to catch people that are cheating and trying to avoid testing. I just think Nick’s lifestyle led to those three whereabouts, not that he was trying to avoid testing. We’re trying to work through that. (Diaz) trusted certain individuals to do his whereabouts for him. What I think happened was, over time, those individuals were in and out of his life, and it was unbeknownst to him that he was missing all these things. But again, there’s strict liability here. He’s currently under sanction, but we’re hoping to resolve that pretty quick.”

Good luck with that.

According to promotion president Dana White, Diaz will never fight again. That’s a shame, especially when you consider what the former Strikeforce welterweight champion has accomplished in mixed martial arts (MMA) across his nearly two decades in combat sports.

In addition to paving the way for a new generation of fighters, Diaz (26-9, 2 NC) laid the groundwork for modern day villains, thanks to his fearless approach to fighting, coupled with his devil-may-care attitude to life outside the cage.

For better or worse.

The chances of Diaz returning anytime soon are remote, and that appears to hold true for his younger and equally talented brother Nate, but that hasn't kept either of them out of the headlines.

If they can’t play by the current rules, then perhaps UFC should release them so they can go fight in Japan.