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Nick Diaz Ban Shortened; UFC’s stoner can fight in 2016

UFC welterweight Nick Diaz faces a potential career-ending suspension and is now eligible to fight in 2016.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission and Nick Diaz reached an agreement Monday that reduced an original five-year ban from fighting in the state to an 18-month suspension, ESPN reports.

The suspension is retroactive to the fight Diaz last fought on January 31, 2015, allowing him to fight again from August 1.

Diaz tested positive for marijuana metabolites after his fight against Anderson Silva on that date, marking his third marijuana-related offense in the state.

The NSAC had tested Diaz three times that day, with one test positive for marijuana. However, the positive test was not analyzed by a laboratory accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). Both tests analyzed in a WADA-accredited laboratory yielded negative results.

The mixed results were inevitably the reason why Diaz’s suspension was slashed.

“That’s what you get when you have multiple drug testing batches. That’s the honest answer and that’s changed since then. It was an instructive lesson. These are complicated issues, but that has since been resolved,” NSAC chairman Anthony Marnell told ESPN.com.

While Diaz has yet to comment on the reduced suspension, UFC President Dana White revealed his approval of the situation via Twitter from MMA reporter Adam Hill:

If Diaz is eligible to return to the octagon this summer, his training regimen could most likely still include cannabis use.

“He doesn’t take painkillers,” Diaz’s trainer Cesar Gracie said in a February 2015 interview with MMA Fighting. “If he’s in pain after a workout, he likes to smoke marijuana. It calms him and relieves the pain in his body. It’s his way of coping naturally with pain and other problems.”

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

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