Wednesday, September 16, 2015

(Sports) Nick Diaz v NSAC: Diaz Ban Shows How Arbitrary Sport Regulatory Bodies Really Are

There’s nothing more terrifying than a public body out for blood and when the Nevada State Athletic Commission basically did a hit job on Nick Diaz’s career for the heinous crime of smoking pot and showing little to no remorse about it, MMA fighters and fans got a whiff of how arbitrary sports law really is.

Nick Diaz losing his career for smoking pot is bad enough but Diaz getting five years for weed when his last opponent (Anderson Silva no less) popped positive for steroids and only got one year when he should got three really shows how bad NSAC suck at sticking to their own rules. Diaz’s ban is so egregious that he will be banned longer than first and second time PED users, those who submit fake tests, wife batterers and animal abusers.

Diaz has paid a hefty price not for smoking weed but getting under the skin of NSAC as he tested positive for weed use three times and the commission, taking Diaz’s customary lack of remorse for breaking their rules to heart, sought to effectively end his career which could have been even worse if the other commissioners members followed commissioner Pat Lundvall’s suggestion to ban him for life.

However one can’t really be surprised as the NSAC v Diaz debacle is another example of why sports fans across the board hate the organizations that regulate and/or run their sport and the people who run them from the NFL’s Roger Goddell to FIFA’s Sepp Blatter as their power and the rules they impose on sports appear to be arbitrary and grossly unjust. Nick Diaz will likely see his 5 year ban whittled down to maybe 2 or 3 years after a lengthy and costly legal battle or even overturned completely due to NSAC’s decision drawing the wrath of the entire MMA community.

The NSAC were clearly out to get Diaz as they ignored two clean tests carried out to WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) certified procedures and chose to bury Diaz based on a positive test not carried out under WADA’s standards. It’s bad enough that the NSAC was banned for years but the reason is why Diaz being tested for and punished for using cannabis is the real concern at heart as there’s no advantage to be gained over a clean opponent when smoking marijuana at least in comparison to anabolic steroids which promotes faster recovery times, greater muscle mass and endurance.

With this in mind, it’s hard to fathom why fighters could spend up to five years or even the rest of their lives banned from the sport they chose because state athletic commissions and/or fight promotions have seriously prudish attitude to recreational drugs which puts them on the wrong side of the growing trend in the US of a more relaxed attitude toward drugs, cannabis especially.

Nothing hurt fans and brought the sport in disrepute than when Anderson Silva, arguably the greatest MMA fighter ever, tested positive for steroids leaving the whole of MMA in a state of depression but no one battled an eyelid when Nick Diaz, a real fan favorite, tested positive for marijuana not because Anderson Silva has a greater standing in the sport (although it was part of it) but nobody cared except the UFC and NSAC.

In sum, Nick Diaz may have paid the price for the NSAC taking his defiance personally but the real question is why it was possible he could get banned in the first place.

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