It looks as though Cung Le’s fight to have his name cleared will continue, as the Ultimate Fighting Championship has announced that the middleweight will be allowed to appeal his one year suspension.
Unless you only tune into MMA happenings once in a blue moon, then you know that Le was suspended recently, for allegedly testing positive for human growth hormone. According to the UFC, which oversees its own drug testing in regions without an athletic commission, Le tested positive for HGH after he was taken out by Michael Bisping in August. That fight went down in Macao, China.
Le, however, has denied taking any type of PED, and he and his camp have called into question how the test was handled by a Hong Kong facility. The vet and his manager have questioned whether the facility conducted the right type of test to begin with, and have noted that it wasn’t WADA certified.
While not everyone has bought into Le’s claims, more than a few people have argued the fighter has the right to launch an appeal, as he would have if the suspension had been handed down by a commission. Well, recently the UFC’s Chief Operating Officer, Lawrence Epstein, told ESPN.com the following:
“The (American Arbitration Association) would hear whatever Cung Le’s arguments are. He has a certain time to file his intention to appeal. An arbitration panel would be set up, he’ll make his case, arbitration will make its decision and that will be the end of it.”
The outlet contacted Le’s manager, Gary Ibarra, and asked him whether they would be launching an appeal given the UFC’s announcement:
“Of course,” Ibarra said. “The UFC is fully aware of the issues we have with the testing (on Aug. 23). These are valid arguments we have raised.”
So, if you’re a big Le fan, then you’re likely happy to hear this news. Even if you aren’t, every fighter should have the right to appeal no?
Now it will be interesting to see how this all plays out. If the facility in question, in fact, didn’t following the same testing procedures top notch labs are supposed to, then Le could see his suspension reduced or withdrawn.