You can’t blame Deontay Wilder for trying to keep things under wraps; many of the sports where you’re putting life and limb on the line in a fairly literal sense are extra harsh on athletes who choose to use cannabis outside the ring, cage or dohyō… ring thing used in traditional Japanese sumo wrestlers.
Whether it be five-year bans like the one Nevada’s State Athletic Commission tried to stamp on Nick Diaz, continued issues for other medical marijuana patients who fight or just haters, cannabis consuming athletes have plenty to put up with.
Here are our picks for some of the craziest pot moments in combat sports:
While lacking stars not named Floyd Mayweather at the moment, during the last 20 years there have been plenty of run-ins between pot and pugilists: The now-heavyweight champ is just the latest in a long line of boxing royalty busted over THC.
Let’s start with Iron Mike Tyson, poor guy thought he had found his trick, as the Telegraph reported back in 2014.
He blamed a $200,000 fine for testing positive for marijuana after a 2000 fight against Andrew Golota in Detroit on the fact that he was tested before having a chance to get the ‘whizzer’ from a member of his team, whom he claims typically carried the device from fight to fight.
Whizzinator dude blew it for Mike, but Julio Cesar Chavez had to pay more than four times what Tyson did in 2013 when he was ordered to give up $900,000 to make amends with the NSAC after testing positive following his fight with Sergio Martinez; it’s the largest fine in the history of the commission with the exception of Mike Tyson Biting a guy’s ear off.
But there is hope for Wilder — other boxers have cast off the “shame” of their pot offenses to find eternal glory! British Olympian Anthony Joshua is a great example: He pled guilty to possession with intent to distribute — a charge that saw him suspended by England’s boxing commission.
After a stint doing community service, he got back on the horse and achieved the ultimate prize of winning an Olympic gold medal in boxing.
Mixed Martial Arts
The world of MMA is no stranger to pot controversy: Following the largest PPV in the sport’s history, Nate Diaz was issued a public warning by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency for his admitted use of a CBD vape pen during a post-fight press conference.
Some considered it a major moment for cannabis in mainstream sports in general.
“When Nate Diaz pulled out his vape pen and hit it during a post-event press conference is when I became 100% sure that cannabis and athletics were something that can not be stopped,” 420 Games Founder Jim McAlpine told Cannabis Now.
Nate’s brother Nick, claimed Nate’s vape pen wasn’t CBD. In fact, the whole party has had many a run in between cannabis metabolites and athletic commissions: In 2007, Nick tested positive for pot after he choked out then-PRIDE Lightweight Champion, Takanori Gomi, with a ridiculous Gogoplata shin choke submission. Following the test results, the fight was changed to a no contest and Nick suspended.
Years later, Nick would again pop for cannabis, this time after fighting a man considered to be the greatest of all time — Anderson Silva. The NSAC brought out the ax for that one, originally dishing out a five-year suspension. The public would not have it and outrage was coming from all corners, the commission reduced the suspension to 18 months.
Despite these realities for medical cannabis users, longtime commentator Joe Rogan says most of the roster is still using pot to help their rehabilitation process.
TELL US, what’s your favorite weed-related sports story?