UFC fighter Nick Diaz sues to block suspension
30 April 2012
30 April 2012 11:40 a.m.
UFC fighter Nick Diaz is asking a Las Vegas judge to lift the suspension of his Nevada fighter’s license.
On Feb. 8, the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended the license of Diaz and launched disciplinary proceedings against him.
That was after the commission said marijuana metabolites were detected in a urine sample provided by Diaz after one of his fights Feb. 4 at Mandalay Bay Events Center that resulted in a controversial loss to Carlos Condit.
Metabolites are inactive substances remaining in the body from the metabolism of marijuana consumed days or even months earlier and resulted from his permitted medicinal use of marijuana, Diaz maintains.
This was the second time Diaz has tested positive for marijuana in Nevada. In 2007, the active THC marijuana ingredient was found in his body after a fight, the commission said.
In a lawsuit filed last week against the Athletic Commission, Diaz attorney Ross Goodman of Las Vegas said that after Diaz argued he is a medical marijuana patient using the drug for the treatment of attention deficit hyeractivity disorder, the commission hit Diaz with an updated complaint.
The updated charge from March 29 includes allegations that Diaz provided false or misleading information to the commission by indicating on a prefight questionnaire that he does not have any serious medical illnesses and that he had not taken or received any prescribed medications or taken any over-the-counter medication in the two weeks prior to his February fight.
Diaz is disputing these allegations, saying “marijuana metabolite is not a drug or injection that has not been approved by the NSAC.”
In his lawsuit, Diaz and his attorney also say that it’s the mixed martial artist’s practice to discontinue medical marijuana treatment eight days before any fight “to eliminate the possibility of any behavioral and psychological effects associated with medicinal marijuana’s active ingredient.”
The commission disagrees with the contention of Diaz that marijuana metabolites are not prohibited, explicitly saying in its complaint against Diaz that they are.
At issue in the lawsuit are allegations that the commission has failed to schedule a speedy hearing so Diaz can try to overturn the suspension of his license.
In an April 24 court affidavit, the Stockton, Calif., fighter said he’s earned more than $475,000 fighting for the UFC in the past year.
Goodman says in the suit that delays by the commission in adjudicating its complaint are threatening the ability of Diaz to make a living and are violating his due process rights.
“Absent this court’s intervention, the plaintiff will continue to be deprived from the opportunity to earn a livelihood,” Goodman said in his motion for an injunction
Asked about the lawsuit, the Nevada Attorney General's Office, representing the commission, on Monday made public an April 16 letter to Diaz and Goodman denying the commission is responsible for any delays. The letter also suggested that delays by Diaz in producing his medical marijuana card to commission attorneys may have slowed down the proceedings.
Clark County District Court Judge Rob Bare has set a May 14 hearing on Goodman’s request that Bare issue a preliminary injunction staying the suspension of Diaz’s license.
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