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Nick Diaz's lawyer questions drug-testing methods, seeks settlement with NAC

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Nick Diaz's attorney and the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) are in discussion about a settlement in the Diaz drug case.

On Friday, Diaz's disciplinary hearing was postponed for another month after the NAC granted his team a continuance. Diaz's attorney Lucas Middlebrook and Nevada deputy attorney general Christopher Eccles have been in talks about a settlement and one could be reached before a potential hearing next month, Middlebrook said.

Diaz tested positive for marijuana metabolites after his UFC 183 loss to Anderson Silva on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas. It was his third time popping for weed in Nevada and Diaz was handed down suspensions and fines in 2007 and 2012.

The popular UFC fighter is fighting these current charges. Middlebrook has called into question how Diaz was tested at UFC 183. According to the attorney, Diaz was tested three times -- once before the bout with Silva and twice after. Oddly, two of those tests came back negative. Just one, which was taken post-fight, was positive.

Two of the specimens were sent to an SMRTL lab. The other was shipped to Quest Diagnostics. Middlebrook said each lab also used different ways to judge Diaz's hydration levels, which would have an affect on testing positive or negative.

"There's serious questions as to the testing methodology and why we had such skewed results from different labs," Middlebrook told MMAFighting.com. "And also why two post-fight collections were done and sent to separate labs. That's another question."

The one positive screen showed 300ng/ml of marijuana, which is double the Nevada limit.

Middlebrook and his firm Seham, Seham, Meltz & Peterson out of White Plains, N.Y., have represented NBA referees and MLS officials. One of the firm's specialties is drug and alcohol testing. It frequently represents clients in the airline and maritime industry.

Middlebrook said he and Eccles were in talks for a settlement before Friday, so Diaz's team asked for a continuance with hopes to resolve the issue before the NAC's June meeting.

"I wouldn't foreclose the possibility we could settle before next month's hearing, but as of now we're not close enough to get there," Middlebrook said.

Diaz lost the fight to Silva by unanimous decision, but Silva tested positive for anabolic steroids both in out-of-competition testing before the bout and in a post-fight test. Silva's disciplinary hearing could also be in June, but it's likely the two would be split up. Silva's victory has a chance of being overturned into a no contest.

Diaz, 31, is a former Strikeforce welterweight champion one of the most popular fighters in the UFC. The Stockton, Calif., native was making his return to the Octagon after more than two years against Silva. He has now lost three straight.

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