Yesterday on the MMA Hour, Forrest Griffin told Ariel Helwani that he tested positive for Xanax after his fight with Anderson Silva at UFC 101. That was the fight where Silva looked like he might test positive for the red pill, evading Griffin with his hands at his waist before breaking his jaw with an afterthought right.
Griffin told Helwani he was so nervous the night before UFC 101 that he took Xanax to get to sleep. He did not announce his failed drug test and ensuing 30-day suspension by the Pennsylvania State Athletic commission because, as he put it, “Why add humiliation to a bad situation?”
So yes—Griffin did something wrong, but in his defense, he did not want people to find out about it. Evidently, neither did PSAC. Although Griffin disclosed his 30-day suspension to the Nevada State Athletic Commission before his next fight, at UFC 106, he did not mention the reason. For its part, the PSAC appears not to have reported the suspension to the Association of Boxing Commissions, which maintains a database of disciplinary actions to coordinate among state commissions.
That last twist in the story is the one with which NSAC chairman Keith Kizer finds fault. Kizer commended Griffin for his honesty in revealing the suspension before UFC 106, implying that Xanax isn’t such a big deal anyway:
“It’s not necessarily like a PED where you’re increasing your risk to your opponent unfairly. You’re increasing the risk to yourself. It is a big concern, and that’s one of the reason drugs like that are prohibited to take that close to fight time. So hopefully he’s learned his lesson, and hopefully other fighters who may think about taking something like that that close to fight time can learn from the situation. But it’s very important to get that information out. It’s unfortunate that it’s taken three years.”
In totally unrelated news, Nick Diaz is still appealing the NSAC’s decision to fine him $80,000 and suspend his license 12 months for testing positive for marijuana metabolites. Diaz’s lawyers maintain that marijuana use is only prohibited “in competition”—not out of competition, when Diaz’s use presumably occurred. Implied in this claim is the argument that marijuana is by no means a performance-enhancing drug.
According to MMAFighting, Keith Kizer had no comment on this issue. It’s possible his opinions re: Xanax vs. marijuana have been colored by his opinion re: Griffin vs. Diaz. In all fairness, though, Griffin used to be a cop, whereas Diaz is whatever the opposite of a cop would be.
(Dan Brooks runs Combat Blog, one of the bestest political commentary blogs on the net. Think Fightlinker but more class and slightly less fart jokes. He was our September guest blogger but because we’re always a little slow on starting everything up we’ve got a few extra October days to enjoy his MMA pontifications. I hope you enjoy them and don’t forget to check out his site!)