The controversial five-year ban placed on UFC fighter Nick Diaz (left) is being challenged, all the way up to the White House.
Diaz was tested post-match after his no-contest fight against Anderson Silva. His results were positive for marijuana, and the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) hit back with a debatable and ruthless punishment.
Diaz announced that he will challenge the five-year suspension as well as the $165,000 fine almost immediately.
He seems to have the help of his adoring fans. People have already started a petition towards Obama’s adminstration to take steps to lift the ban off Diaz.
For a petition to meet the mark of an official White House answer, it must reach 100,000 signatures within a month. Diaz has just over 63,000 signatures backing him as of late Tuesday night, with the crunch time in two weeks to reach the 100k.
“Nick Diaz was unfairly banned from being a professional fighter by the Nevada Athletics Commission,” the petition reads. “They ruled based on their personal feelings and beliefs towards the use of medical Marijuana and used their power to deprive Mr.Diaz of being able to make a living.”
Not only does Diaz have the support of his fans, but also his friends.
Female UFC champion Ronda Rousey, a good friend of Diaz’s, hit back at the NAC when she was in Melbourne earlier this year, on a promotional tour for her UFC 193 fight with Holly Holm at Docklands Stadium in November.
“It’s so not right for him (Diaz) to be suspended for five years for marijuana. I’m against them even testing for weed at all. It’s not a performance-enhancing drug, it’s got nothing to do with competition. It’s only tested for political reasons,” said Rousey.
The NAC considered handing down a lifetime ban to Diaz, when they took into consideration his previous doping offences.
Diaz was banned in 2012 when he tested positive for marijuana after a decision loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 143, as well as the same result in 2006 after a win over Japanese Takanori Gomi at MMA event PRIDE 33. – Bonnie Baker
Top photo from Nick Diaz’s Instagram.