UFC star Nate Diaz is being investigated by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency following the fighter’s appearance at a press conference openly puffing on a vape pen, according to several news reports.
When asked by a reporter to describe the device, Diaz explained that the cartridge was filled with CBD oil which he said “helps with the healing process and inflammation” adding that he used it during training, and before and after fights to “make [his] life a better place.”
Cannabidiol is banned in-competition by the World Anti-Doping Agency as it is a cannabinoid — one of 113 active in cannabis. According to MMA Fighting, in-competition is considered the six hours both before and after a fight. Diaz appeared with the pen at the UFC post-fight press conference immediately following the event.
The UFC considers cannabis a “specified substance,” meaning it is still prohibited during in-competition timeframes but is not considered an anabolic steroid or hormonal agent. Under the organization’s rules, violation of the specified substance policy can result in a fighter’s suspension up to one year. The USADA can either suspend a fighter or issue a public warning, depending on the circumstances. The regulatory body suspended Diego Brandao, a contracted UFC fighter, for nine months earlier this year after he tested positive for marijuana metabolites.
“I can confirm that USADA is aware of the situation and is currently gathering information in order to determine the next appropriate steps,” USADA spokesperson Ryan Madden said in the MMA Fighting report.
Even if Diaz’s drug tests come back negative the USADA could consider his statements during the press conference a positive test. He has never been suspended for doping or recreational drugs during his 12-year mixed martial arts career.