Nate Diaz did absolutely nothing wrong ahead of UFC 244, and it makes complete sense that he competes — so says UFC VP of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky.
Earlier this week, Diaz rocked the mixed martial arts world when he took to his social media to reveal he’d been informed of elevated levels of SARM in his system, and that he would refuse to fight next week in New York unless his name was cleared of any wrongdoing.
And according to a statement released by the UFC earlier this evening, the fan favourite is completely innocent and must be treated as such. Speaking to MMAJunkie, Novitzky revealed the absolutely minuscule amounts of the drug found in Diaz’ system was in keeping with the levels found in tainted supplements, and came from a vegan multivitamin purchased off the shelf.
“This isn’t guesswork,” Novitzky said. “There’s nothing guesswork about the Nate Diaz case. It is as rock solid evidence as I’ve ever seen in the history of my anti-doping career when it comes to a contaminant. To say he did anything wrong, you’d have to say, ‘You did something wrong by choosing a plant-based, vegan, organic multivitamin that said on the label they were lab tested.’ Somebody can say he did something wrong on that? It’s a shame if they would. The guy did nothing wrong.”
Novitzky also said Diaz would have had to consume 10,000 capsules of the product to find any performance enhancing benefit.
As of now, Diaz is yet to respond to the UFC’s statement, but Hunter Campbell, the UFC’s Chief Business Officer, believes nothing now stands in the way of the blockbuster main event between Diaz and Masvidal.
“What was important to Nate, immediately, before anything he put out there or anything he commented, as it was conveyed to us, was that he be cleared,” Campbell said. “That was the single most important thing for Nate. And I think what was telling in the statement that he put out, animated as it was, as he usually is, it highlights exactly, what I think the evolution of the anti-doping world is starting to show, Nate’s comment was ‘I don’t cheat, I only take plant-based vegan,’ … you do this for your legacy and I don’t want us to ever be a part of anything that negatively affects someone’s legacy who did something unintentionally who did nothing wrong. Nate did nothing wrong. Nate is not a cheater. It’s literally that simple.”