Nick Diaz is well clear of any substance-related UFC Anti-Doping Policy violations, but remains under a suspension issued by the U.S. Anti-Doping Association.
Jeff Novitsky, the UFC’s Vice President of Athlete Health and Performance, believes that Diaz still wants to fight, but he remains mired in a suspension stemming from his failure to provide his whereabouts.
Under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, all fighters on the roster, active or not, are required to provide their whereabouts at all times in order to be available for random drug testing. Diaz was placed under suspension over the summer after he failed to report his whereabouts on at least three occasions during a 12-month period, which is in and of itself a violation.
Although most people, including UFC president Dana White, have been operating under the assumption that Diaz doesn’t really want to fight again anyway, Novitsky claimed that he got the feeling that Diaz does in fact want to return to the UFC Octagon at some point.
“Nick was our first fighter that ran into the whereabouts issue. So he got three whereabouts failures in a rolling 12 months, so he’s currently going through that process. It’s a tough one,” Novitsky said during a recent appearance on a Joe Rogan podcast.
“I think he (wants to fight). I’ve sat down with him over the past couple months trying to resolve this whereabouts issue. The unfortunate thing there is the whereabouts failures are there to catch people that are cheating and trying to avoid testing. I just think Nick’s lifestyle led to those three whereabouts, not that he was trying to avoid testing. We’re trying to work through that.”
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It has been nearly three years since Diaz last set foot in the Octagon for a fight. He lost a unanimous decision to Anderson Silva in the UFC 183 main event on Jan. 31, 2015. The result was later changed to a no contest after both Diaz and Silva were found guilty of anti-doping violations. Diaz test positive for marijuana, while Silva tested positive for steroids.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission initially sentenced Diaz to a five-year suspension. Following an appeal, Diaz’s suspension was later reduced to 18 months and officially lifted on August 1, 2016.
Diaz is now well clear of that sanction, but if he hopes to fight again, he will have to clear up his whereabouts violations before being reinstated.