The public backlash that came with UFC fighter Nick Diaz’s five-year suspension and $165,000 fine testing positive for marijuana has actually paid off — at least a little.
After reaching a settlement with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) earlier this month, Diaz’s punishment for his third positive test result for marijuana has been reduced to an 18-month suspension and $100,000 fine. Which is better, but still pretty fucking stupid.
While the fine still carries a hefty price tag, it’s the suspension that matters. Diaz is 32 years old — the five-year ban would have essentially ended his career. Now, we can expect to see him back in the Octagon by Aug. 1 of this year, as long as he pays the $100,000 fine by then.
Many pro-athletes have spoken out against the antiquated rules and regulations for marijuana use in professional athletics. Ronda Rousey and Floyd Mayweather both came to Diaz’s defense when his sentence was handed down — a sentence that went even further than the NSAC’s suggestion of a three-year ban for a third positive marijuana test result, for no reason other than making an example of Diaz and ending his career.
“I never did steroids in my life,” Diaz said when he received his initial suspension. “That’s another thing I’ll tell you right now. I know all the fighters, and they’re all on steroids. All you motherfuckers on steroids.”
What’s an even more compelling argument against the Commission’s targeting marijuana use is the weed vs. painkillers debate that’s been prevalent throughout both professional fighting and the NFL for years. When the associations responsible for protecting the well being and integrity of their athletes support dangerous, addictive, opiate-based prescription painkillers over the use of a widely accepted, non-addictive, natural remedy, you have to wonder, where’s the logic?
At least this reduced sentence shows that there can be some semblance of sanity found in the insane system — even if you have to take those responsible for protecting you to court to find it.