MMA fighter Nate Diaz spent 25 minutes in the octagon on Saturday night getting his face and leg pummeled by Conor McGregor at UFC 202 in Las Vegas.
After losing the match, Diaz sought a little relief from the pain immediately afterward, but it looks like his method of taking the edge off may come back to haunt him for as much as a year.
At the post-fight press conference in the T-Mobile Arena, Diaz kept taking drags off a vaporizer. When asked what it contained, he replied, “It's CBD. It helps with the healing process and inflammation, stuff like that. So you want to get these for before and after the fight, training."
CBD is a cannabidiol, one of the active compounds in marijuana. While it isn’t psychotropic – meaning that it doesn’t change mood or perception or other brain functioning – it is a compound that is banned in competition by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and its U.S. affiliate, USADA.
Diaz’s appearance at the press conference was soon enough after the conclusion of the fight to be considered to be “in competition.”
"I can confirm that USADA is aware of the situation and is currently gathering information in order to determine the next appropriate steps," an USADA spokesperson told MMA Fighting.
According to the UFC’s anti-doping rules, Diaz could face as much as a one-year suspension, or as little as a public warning.
The fighter was tested for drugs before the fight, but the results aren’t in yet. It’s likely that his ultimate punishment depends on the outcome. But, even if the results are negative, he could still face punishment because he admitted on camera to using a banned substance within six hours of the fight – the legal threshold.
In January, the Brazilian fighter Diego Brandão tested positive for marijuana in a drug test before losing to Brian Ortega at UFC 195. He was suspended for nine months by USADA.
Diaz could also be facing a sanction from the Nevada Athletic Commission.
Neither NAC executive director Bob Bennett nor representatives for Diaz responded to MMA Fighting requests for comment.