Nick Diaz failed in his obligations to himself and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. But the Nevada State Athletic Commission's use of urinalysis to determine impairment isn't providing any service to mixed martial arts, the fighters or the fans.
Let's establish two facts from the outset. First, Nick Diaz's use of marijuana to the extent it produced a positive drug test result is irresponsible. Second, the urinalysis test regarding marijuana consumption used by athletic commissions (ostensibly) designed to protect the health and safety of fighters does neither and is little more than kabuki theater.
The UFC has every right to be disappointed with Nick Diaz. They invested huge sums of money and other promotional resources to push him, his fight and build him as a pay-per-view attraction. As incoherent and insane as some of the rules may be (more on that in a minute), he accepted the handshake. That meant not only fighting Condit, it also included media promotion and some measure of clean living. For him to test positive on the urinalysis - which could've resulted in promotional disaster for the UFC had he actually defeated Condit at UFC 143 - is the height of unprofessionalism and represents a total failure as a partner to the UFC.
But it's also true, and perhaps more important, that the urinalysis test (MMAFighting.com has confirmed Nevada uses urinalyses to test fighters for various banned substances, including marijuana) used by the Nevada State Athletic Commssion (NSAC) to gauge marijuana use does not perform the function it purports to do.
"[Marijuana] is banned because of the damage it does to the person taking it," said Keith Kizer, Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Officer to the L.A. Times. "It could make you lethargic, slow your reflexes, and those are dangerous things in a combat sport."
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