UFC fighter Nick Diaz has had his punishment for a third positive marijuana test reduced to an 18-month suspension and $100,000 fine after reaching a settlement with the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).
Yes, the suspension was reduced to 18 months after Diaz was initially handed a five-year suspension and $165,000 fine in September. You read that right: a five-year suspension for smoking some weed.
Diaz's suspension was retroactive to his last fight at UFC 183 on Jan. 31, 2015. Thus, as reporter Ariel Helwani notes, Diaz will be available to fight by Aug. 1.
The settlement, which can be read below, states that he must pay the $100,000 fine either before his next fight or by Dec.1, whichever comes first.
Diaz's initial five-year suspension caused an outcry when it was handed down by the the NSAC in September. The organization had implemented a new drug policy just four months before, in May, that suggested a three-year suspension for a third positive marijuana offense, two full years fewer than what Diaz was handed.
The fighter responded to the initial suspension in a September video, where he implied that the commission was harder on marijuana users than steroid users.
“I never did steroids in my life," Diaz said. "That’s another thing I’ll tell you right now. I know all the fighters, and they are all on steroids. All you motherf**kers on steroids.”
Despite the fact that marijuana is legal, either medically or recreationally, in 23 states including Nevada, the NSAC still decided to lay the hammer on Diaz. Even after this settlement, it's questionable whether the punishment fits the "crime."
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