Following the headline making news earlier in the week that Cung Le has allegedly tested positive for human growth hormone, nothing had come out of the star’s camp regarding the issue, until now.
On Tuesday, the UFC announced that it has suspended Le for nine months, as a result of the middleweight testing positive for HGH. Then on Wednesday, the promotion clarified that the feared striker’s suspension was in fact one year. Still, no one from Le’s camp commented on the situation.
Well, on Thursday, the 42 year-old and his team have released an extensive statement, which claims the fighter never used any type of performance enhancing drug. In addition, Le and his manager, Gary Ibarra, are questioning whether the test results are accurate, due to the testing procedures and the facility which were used.
The test was apparently conducted in China, and according to Ibarra, it was not done by a facility that is WADA certified. The middleweight’s manager is also arguing that a more effective and reliable test to detect HGH was not used. Le was in Macao, China to fight Michael Bisping at UFC N 48 on August 23rd. The latter won the bout via fourth round stoppage.
The statement, which is a lengthy one, was sent to MMA Junkie.com. Here is some of what Le had to say in it:
“I was completed surprised at the results of my recent drug test,” Le’s statement reads. “I was informed by the UFC that I passed my pre- and post-fight drug test, as well as the majority of the blood tests with the only abnormality being an elevated level of HGH being determined to be present. I tested negative for anabolics, stimulants, diuretics, masking agents and my testosterone levels were within World Anti-Doping Agency and Nevada State Athletic Commission Approved limits a total of three times over two urine tests and a blood test collected both before and after my fight, which is what makes these HGH result so difficult for me to accept as correct. This has also caused me to call the testing procedures into question.
“I have been informed that there are many possible reasons for a level of HGH to exceed what is allowed unknowingly and my doctors are researching those possibilities, which may include a much more serious health concern. I have also been informed about the unreliability of the current HGH testing that exists and it’s high rate of inaccuracy.
“I want to reiterate to my fans and the fans of mixed martial arts everywhere that I did not take any performance-enhancing drugs or anything that would cause my natural level of HGH to exceed normal levels.”
Of course, critics will just throw all of this into the excuse bin, as many athletes over the years have claimed their sample was tainted, or that the test must be wrong, when they’ve been busted for PEDs. Le’s supporters, on the other hand, might believe the fighter and his camp are raising valid questions. Le certainly had a solid reputation prior to all of this unfolding.
Now will any of this have an impact on the UFC’s disciplinary action? Probably not. Especially since this has all come down at a time when PEDs in MMA is an extremely contentious and public issue.