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Thursday, November 8, 2012
Nick Diaz petitions for review

By Brett Okamoto
ESPN.com

LAS VEGAS -- A hearing has been scheduled Dec. 14 for a petition for judicial review of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The petition was filed on behalf of UFC welterweight Nick Diaz for the NSAC's ruling in May that Diaz serve a 12-month suspension and pay $79,500 in fines as the result of a failed post-fight drug test in February.

The hearing will take place at 12:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 14, before Judge Joanna Kishner.

Acting through Las Vegas-based attorney Ross Goodman, Diaz opened a case against the NSAC on July 26, stating his rights had been violated by the commission's disciplinary action in May.

The ruling was the result of a positive drug test for marijuana metabolites Diaz submitted after a loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 143 in Las Vegas on Feb. 4.

During that May hearing, Goodman argued that because Diaz tested positive only for marijuana metabolites, an inactive byproduct of marijuana not listed on the banned substance list, he should not be punished. The NSAC does not prohibit marijuana use outside of competition.

The commission maintains any result above 15 nanograms of marijuana metabolites is considered a positive test. Diaz's urine sample contained 25 nanograms.

Additionally, the NSAC accused Diaz of providing "false or misleading" information on his prefight questionnaire, specifically when asked if he suffered from a serious medical condition or had taken any prescribed medications in recent weeks.

Diaz, a registered medical marijuana user in California for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, has said the questionnaire is vague and that he had been truthful from his interpretation of it.

"Nick believes marijuana metabolites are not a prohibited substance and, therefore, he should not have been disciplined, which I agree with," Goodman told ESPN.com.

"Then, once we started to challenge that, (the NSAC) came up with the second issue regarding Nick lied on the application. So, obviously, he wants to clear his name in that regard."

In an answering brief filed on behalf of the NSAC, the state of Nevada and NSAC executive director Keith Kizer on Oct. 29, the attorney general stated the court system only can overturn the agency's decision if "the record reflects that the commission's decision was not supported by substantial evidence."

Kizer declined comment to ESPN.com.

Diaz, 29, is a former 170-pound titleholder in Strikeforce. He vacated the belt in 2011 to accept a fight against UFC champion Georges St. Pierre. That fight fell through when St. Pierre suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Diaz subsequently lost to Condit, who is scheduled to fight St. Pierre at UFC 154 in Montreal on Nov. 17.