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Jeff Novitzky: UFC hoping to resolve Nick Diaz’s USADA whereabouts sanction ‘pretty quick’

Gallery Photo: UFC 143 Weigh-in Gallery

UFC president Dana White said recently that he doesn’t think Nick Diaz ever wants to fight again. At the moment, Diaz is actually unable to fight in the UFC.

The popular welterweight and former Strikeforce champion has been under a provisional suspension from USADA since June due to a whereabouts issue. Diaz had three “whereabouts failures” in a 12-month span and is now facing a UFC anti-doping policy violation for the infraction.

Under the UFC’s anti-doping policy led by USADA, fighters must use a smartphone app to let USADA know where they are every day, so doping control officers can track them down to collect samples for drug tests. Fighters are supposed to fill out their whereabouts quarterly. If they don’t, or if they are not at the place that was inputted in the app, they could be hit with a whereabouts failure. And three of those in a rolling 12-month period would lead to a potential anti-doping policy violation.

UFC vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky gave an update on Diaz’s situation Wednesday on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. Novitzky said Diaz, a known for being pretty complicated outside the cage, had people filling out his whereabouts for him and they stopped doing it.

“We’re trying to work through that,” Novitzky said of Diaz’s issues. “He trusted certain individuals to do his whereabouts for him, I think is what happened over time. And those individuals would come in and out of his life and it was kind of unbeknownst to him that he was missing a lot of these things. Nevertheless, there’s strict liability here and he’s currently under sanction, but we’re hoping to resolve that pretty quick.”

Diaz, 34, has not fought since a bout with Anderson Silva at UFC 183 in January 2015. After that fight, Diaz tested positive for marijuana and was initially suspended five years by the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) as a repeat offender. It was his third career weed failure.

After pressing the case, the commission reduced that suspension to just 18 months. Silva also popped in an in-competition test at UFC 183, for steroids. He was suspended for one year and has fought three times since then. Silva failed a USADA drug test in November and is facing a UFC anti-doping policy violation.

White has said on multiple occasions that he doesn’t believe Diaz will ever fight again. Diaz himself has spoken publicly about disliking fighting. But Novitzky, in interacting with the mercurial fighter recently, said he believes Diaz does indeed want to get in the Octagon again.

“I think he does,” Novitzky said. “I’ve sat down with him over the last couple of months and talking about trying to resolve this whereabouts issue. The unfortunate thing there is, look, the whereabouts failure sanctions are meant to catch people that are cheating and trying to avoid testing. I just think Nick’s lifestyle led to those three whereabouts. Not that he was trying to avoid testing.”

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