In what I can only describe as the perfect embodiment of everything wrong with athletic commissions, Chael Sonnen was granted a therapeutic use exemption for testosterone injections yesterday, clearing the way for his Vegas superfight with Anderson Silva in July. A few hours later, Nick Diaz was suspended a year and fined 60k for smoking marijuana out of competition.
While the situation is completely absurd on its face, there’s a twisted kind of reasoning behind the NSAC’s actions. Chael Sonnen ASKED if he could use steroids. When he didn’t – for his first fight against Anderson Silva – he ended up getting suspended. So the overall lesson athletes need to learn form this situation is always inform your athletic commission about the drugs you plan on using, and everything will be honky dory.
Chael’s clearance to fight in Nevada is just the latest depressing step forward in the normalization of PEDs in MMA. Meanwhile, marijuana is still stuck where it was before Nick Diaz tried to overhaul the system. His lawyers argued that marijuana metabolites do not prove in-competition use and out-of-competition use is legal according to the WADA statutes Nevada bases it’s rules on. Now that the commission has rejected that argument, there’s a good chance they’ll be taking the same argument back to a proper courtroom:
Diaz’s lawyer Ross Goodman believes the commission acted in disregard for established and unequivocal Nevada statutory code at Monday’s hearing. After being contacted by MMA Fighting, Goodman says Diaz and his legal advisers are strongly considering petitioning a district court to review the NSAC’s decision.
Should they choose to move forward, “we would file a petition for judicial review in front of a district court judge,” Goodman told MMA Fighting. “It would entitle a judge to basically look at the hearing anew.”
There was never much of a chance the commission was going to actually let Diaz off the hook, and Ross Goodman isn’t the kind of lawyer who gets involved with a case just so he can let some board members rubber stamp a suspension and send him on his way. He’s out to change the way marijuana is handled by commissions. Now if only someone would stand up and do the same for steroids…