UFC star Nick Diaz has been suspended five years by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for marijuana use.
The decision was voted on and passed unanimously at a hearing Monday.
Diaz tested positive for having marijuana metabolites in his system during a post-fight drug screening following his main event bout with Anderson Silva at UFC 183 on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas.
The 32-year-old Diaz has a medical marijuana license in his home state of California, however marijuana is banned by athletic commissions in competition and Diaz failed to disclose any medical marijuana use in the month leading up to UFC 183.
It was the third time Diaz had failed a drug test for marijuana in the state of Nevada. He was suspended six months by the NSAC in 2007 after his fight with Takanori Gomi at PRIDE 33 then was suspended one year in 2012 after his loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 143.
Not only has Diaz failed three NSAC drug tests in his career, but he was also involved in a 2010 brawl when he competed in Strikeforce. These and other previous transgressions contributed to the commission’s decision to implement a five-year ban.
Earlier this year, the NSAC voted to enact harsher penalties for drug violations. In addition to the suspension, Diaz was fined $165,000 (which is 33 per cent of his $500,000 fight purse from UFC 183).
During Monday’s hearing, Diaz refused to answer any questions and instead pleaded the fifth.
“I’m pretty pissed off,” Diaz told FOX Sports after his suspension was handed down. “I got into this sport for this exact reason being stuck in a room like that with people like that. First of all, this sport, this commission, they’ve done everything they can to keep me from being all the way on top where I should be. They’ve done everything they could to keep me from proving to the world that I’m the best fighter in the world, which I am. They want to have nothing but weak sauce fighters in the sport. Those people are nothing but a bunch of crooks up there.”
Diaz’s opponent, Silva, was suspended one year by the NSAC for failing multiple drug screenings around UFC 183. Silva tested positive for anabolic steroids drostanolone, androstane and other banned substances. Silva beat Diaz by unanimous decision but his win was changed to a No Contest after his suspension.