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Wednesday, 03/27/2013, 11:15 am

Diaz vs. Quebec Commission: The Case and Its Implications | UFC NEWS

The camp of Nick Diaz has thrown some heavy accusations this past week.  Most of this was aimed at the Quebec commission who oversaw UFC 158, the Régie des Alcools des Courses et des Jeux.  They claim the commission relaxed their enforcement of their own regulations on a fighter’s weight, and the Diaz camp also stated they will launch a formal complaint that the Régie failed to supervise GSP during his post-fight drug test per regulations.

 

While these claims themselves are worthy of headlines, it is important to consider all that has happened.  This article will look to organize recent events in a way that sheds the most light on the post-UFC 158 situation.  All rules cited are from either the Régie’s website or the Unified Rules and Other MMA Regulations under which the UFC operates.

 

THE WEIGH-IN:

-The Accusation: The Diaz camp has accused the Quebec Commision, the Régie des Alcools des Courses et des Jeux, of not adequately enforcing its regulations regarding weigh-ins for a combat sports event.

-The Evidence: The Diaz camp released this video, which shows UFC VP, Michael Mersh, explaining that the contracted weight limit of 170 lbs will actually be enforced as anything below 171 lbs and that each participant (Diaz and GSP) will be allowed one hour to lose weight if they were to miss.

-The Response: The Régie stated, “our regulation on combat sports does not take decimals into account.  Their consideration is a question of interpretation likely to be debated between the two parties under contract.”

-The Rule: From the Régie’s “Regulation” states that, “75. At an official weigh-in, no time shall be granted to a contestant to enable him to increase or decrease his weight,” and that “168.7 the maximum weight that the contest must achieve at the official weigh-in” is stipulated in the contract with the organizer (the UFC).  If we look at the UFC’s site, it states that, “In championship fights, the participants must weigh no more than that permitted for the relevant weight division.”

-What to make of it: From a legal perspective, the Régie and the UFC could come under fire for blatant breaches of rules and contractual agreements in light of both the Régie’s statement and Michael Mersh’s statements in the video.  Both instances demonstrate a disregard for the explicit rules and regulations to which the fighters agreed.  This does not mean, however, that Georges St. Pierre is necessarily at fault.  Unless it can be proved that he weighed in before the fight above 170.0 lbs, then any argument that he benefited from these breaches is mute.

 

THE DRUG TEST:

-The Accusation: The Diaz camp accused the Régie of not supervising Georges St. Pierre’s post-fight drug test.

-The Evidence: As of yet, no evidence has been produced to indicate whether or not these accusations hold.

-The Rule: The Régie’s Regulation states, “71.2 Each contestant shall report to the sampling facility at the place and time specified by an official and shall, in the presence of the authorized person designated to take urine samples, provide a urine sample of at 50 ml.  The person authorized pursuant to section 71.1 shall establish security measures to ensure the integrity of the chain of custody of the sample until it is submitted to the laboratory for analysis.  The person shall record the chain of custody of the sample in a report.”

-What to make of it: Evidence notwithstanding, this is by far the more serious accusation thrown out by the Diaz camp.  Prior to the fight, Diaz himself accused GSP of taking steroids.  If this accusation holds and it can be proved that the commission did not properly test the champion, there are many questions to then ask.  At the very least, it brings into doubt the legitimacy of the Régie, and it could also warrant a follow-up drug test from both fighters.  At this point, however, it is only fair to assume all parties innocent until concrete evidence shows otherwise.

 

THE REMATCH:

The Diaz camp concluded its statement saying, “Mr. St-Pierre remains legally and ethically obligated to fight Mr. Diaz at 170 pounds or else vacate the belt in favor of those prepared to fight at welterweight.”  Unfortunately for Diaz, this may be a difficult argument to make.

 

As it stands, the evidence lies heavily against the Quebec Commission and UFC VP Michael Mersh.  Though the accusations indicate Georges St. Pierre quite a bit, they do not directly indict the champion.  The accusation about the weight, for instance, places the commission at fault for not enforcing the limit and the UFC for breaching contract; in no way does it indicate St. Pierre of having influenced or benefited from their actions.  In the case of the drug test, even assuming it is proved the commission failed to supervise the urine sample, this still does not indict St. Pierre of foul play, only the commission.

 

It is unlikely that the unanimous decision victory for Georges St. Pierre would be overturned- again because the accusations are not directly aimed at GSP- unless the champion were to fail his post-fight drug test.  Generally speaking, “no contests” are only given after the fact in such cases when the winner of a fight is found to have violated the rules, often following the results of post-fight drug tests. In light of this, the Diaz camp can, at best, hope for some form of compensation from the Régie and/or the UFC assuming their official complaint is recognized.

 

Even still, the Diaz camp’s video and accusations have brought focus to some behind-the-scenes corruption in the world of MMA.  While their intentions may not be met in terms of getting a rematch with St. Pierre, their actions will certainly bring attention to a problem and hopefully create a positive change for future fighters and athletes.

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