Not surprisingly, Nick Diaz’s coach Cesar Gracie has slammed the Nevada State Athletic Commission following its decision yesterday to hand his fighter a twelve month suspension and fine him a whopping 30 per cent of the $200,000 he was paid for his February fight with Carlos Condit.
“Get drunk and wreck cars or do steroids between fights is OK. Smoke weed legally between fights and NSAC throws the book at you,” Gracie tweeted directly at the official UFC Twitter account.
Diaz met with NSAC yesterday in Las Vegas to hear final adjudication on his case; he had been serving a temporary suspension imposed after his post-UFC 143 test came back with traces of marijuana metabolites. Having been suspended for marijuana use once before by NSAC, Diaz got dealt with severely.
To be fair, he didn’t help himself either. Whether it is a noble commitment to being himself or simply a lack of understanding regarding the potential import some questions and answers will have, Diaz has shown a marked tendency to shoot himself in the foot with his utterances on the record.
So it was yesterday, when he was asked how it came to pass that he had tested positive for marijuana in Nevada a second time after having promised on the first occasion - in 2007 - that it would never happen again. Diaz was queried as to when he had started using marijuana again after the 2007 incident. He said that he had done so as soon as he got home.
“So you just told us that just to get through the hearing?” said the incredulous committee member. Diaz - whether in defiance, insolence or just plain ignorance of the disregard he was about to show the commission - answered “Yes.“
Diaz hadn’t served his temporary suspension quietly either. In the midst of protracted arguments over who was responsible for the delay in having NSAC hear his case, Diaz’s attorney took the commission to court and attempted to gain injunctive relief. The attempt failed and Diaz remained in limbo until yesterdays official decision.
The harshness of the financial penalty has surprised people; more than one has wondered if there wasn’t some punitive element beyond the marijuana transgression. Between Diaz’s (perceivably) flippant attitude and his attempts to get an injunction against NSAC, had he in effect ‘taken the gloves off’ and riled the commission to an unnecessary degree.