UFC welterweight Nick Diaz has received a five-year suspension after testing positive for marijuana. The decision, which was handed down by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, was roundly condemned as unduly harsh.

In all fairness to the commission, it was Diaz’s third time testing positive for the drug. So on some level, it’s hard to feel sorry for the fighter. But considering other fighters have received much lighter punishments after being caught with performance enhancing drugs (i.e. Anderson Silva), it’s hard to justify Diaz’s treatment.

“I’m pretty pissed,” a rambling, clearly shaken Diaz told MMA Junkie after the hearing. “I got into this sport for this exact reason, being stuck in a room with people like that.”

However, NSAC chairman Francisco Aguilar defended the decision.

“This is not just a marijuana issue,” Aguilar said. “This is an issue of marijuana, a lack of being forthright, a lack of cooperation to make the sport better, a disregard for rules – it hurts other athletes just as much.”

Diaz’s lead attorney Lucas Middlebrook, who questioned the accuracy of the positive drug test, said he plans to appeal the ruling.

(Source: SFGate, ESPN)