By Ryan Busuttil
A day after UFC Welterweight Nick Diaz was suspended for 1 year for testing positive for marijuana after UFC 143, his coach took to the airwaves to defend him. Cesar Gracie was a guest on “Just Scrap Radio” on BJPenn.com today and gave his thoughts about the Nevada State Athletic Commission hearing and did not hold back.
“It was a joke really,” Gracie said. “I thought it was like a kangaroo court.” Gracie expressed that he felt that Diaz’s fate was decided before the hearing even began and that the point of the hearing was to make an example out of Diaz. “They had in mind what they were going to do and they did it. The whole time it was more like everyone there was a prosecutor against Nick. It was pretty ridiculous.”
Gracie felt that the NSAC latched onto the fact that Diaz said in testimony that marijuana helped him focus, which to them meant that it was performance-enhancing. “They said ‘Marijuana helps your performance, Nick? It’s a PED then.’” Gracie chided the NSAC for not being prepared or studying the case ahead of time, stating that the Commission did not even know what a metabolite was until the expert witness Diaz’s camp hired explained it.
Gracie felt the hearing showed how athletic commissions fail at their purpose of protecting fighters, taking for granted that they are dealing with fighters’ livelihoods .”They don’t care about fighters, they care about themselves,” said Gracie. “They’re a bunch of cronies.” Gracie reported that the reason Diaz took the commission to court initially was because they violated their own bylaws by delaying his hearing date stating “They didn’t want to follow their own rules. That’s how pathetic they really are.”
Gracie praised Diaz for going in front of the commission, stating that he was “completely honest” the whole time. “I’m extremely proud of Nick for going there and conducting himself in a professional manner. He showed a lot of integrity. To be honest, he showed more integrity than anyone on the commission there.”
As for what the immediate future holds for Nick Diaz, Gracie stated that the fighter and his lawyer were going to weigh all their options before deciding, but taking the commission to court to appeal the suspension was a possibility.
Gracie did point out one positive of the whole experience. “I’m glad the public got to see how ridiculous the state of the commission really is. That’s the one thing I was happy about.”
Archive of the show will be up shortly!
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