Ronda Rousey was in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia today for the UFC 193 ticket onsale press conference, and made a point of speaking out about her friend Nick Diaz being suspended for five years for a questionable positive post-fight test for marijuana. She did not hold back at all. MMAFighting’s Marc Raimondi reports that Rousey said that “It’s so not right for him to be suspended five years for marijuana. I’m against them testing for weed at all. It’s not a performance-enhancing drug. It has nothing to do with athletic competition. It’s only tested for political reasons. They say, ‘Oh, it’s only for your safety to keep you from hurting yourself because you’re out there.’ Why don’t they test for all of the other things that could possibly hurt us?”
The UFC Bantamweight Champion added that “Nick is a very close and dear friend of mine, so of course I’m going to defend him, but it’s so unfair if one person tests for steroids that could actually hurt a person and the other person smokes a plant that makes him happy and he gets suspended for five years.”
— nick diaz (@nickdiaz209) September 15, 2015
On top of the usual debates about marijuana vs. performance enhancing drugs, there are two other components to why this suspension is especially controversial. First, Nevada recently instituted new rules which dictated that a third marijuana positive would be a three year suspension. Those new rules, which were supposed to be more harsh than the existing rules, were put into place atter Diaz tested positive, so they don’t apply to him and the commission can go by the more vague older rules. In addition, Diaz passed two tests around the positive test on fight night, the positive test was done at a different lab, and the levels were so high as to be an obvious outlier to most media watching the hearing.