Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Days after the announcement that Nick Diaz tested positive for marijuana and will be disciplined by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Diaz's manager and trainer Cesar Gracie said Diaz was surprised by the result of his drug test. Not because Diaz doesn't use marijuana -- he admits he does -- but because Diaz thought he had taken all the necessary steps to make sure the marijuana metabolites were out of his system before the drug test.
"I was very disappointed," Gracie said on The MMA Hour. "Everyone knows he smokes marijuana medicinally in California. He has a legal right to do it in this state."
Gracie said he was the one who was informed of the positive test and passed along the word to Diaz, and that Diaz had thought he had stopped using marijuana for long enough before the UFC 143 fight with Carlos Condit, and had enough water pass through his system, that a test would come up negative.
"He was surprised he tested positive," Gracie said. "He does the same ritual every fight for the last five years. He stops it in time and he cleanses his system, works out like crazy, drinks a lot of water and purges his system of it."
Gracie said he thought Diaz's weight cut may have contributed to the marijuana metabolites staying in his system longer than usual. Gracie said the Diaz camp has hired an attorney, Ross Goodman of Las Vegas, who will help to appeal to the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
This is the second time that Diaz has failed a drug test in Nevada, having previously tested positive following his Pride victory over Takanori Gomi. Because this is a second offense, Diaz could face a yearlong suspension. It's also possible that Diaz -- who hinted immediately following the loss to Condit that he might retire from MMA -- could quit fighting entirely. Gracie said that's going through Diaz's mind now, but that he believes Diaz will ultimately decide he wants to continue competing.
"It's quite possible, actually," Gracie said of Diaz possibly walking away. "I really believe he loves fighting. I think he's fought too much and I think with all the politics that come with this sport and everything, the negativity, it's a crazy thing and I don't think he likes that part of it and the media and everything. He wanted to test himself as a martial artist and that was the most important thing, even more important than financial gain."
Ultimately, Gracie thinks Diaz will step back into the cage at some point, once he has put whatever discipline Nevada hands down behind him.
"I think after a certain amount of time he'll get the love back," Gracie said. "So I do want him to go through this process and try to clear everything and get him back on track fighting."
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