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Cung Le proclaims innocence, blames failure on 'unreliability' of testing

Anton Tabuena, MMA Fighting

Not only is Cung Le questioning the results of the test which led to his suspension for usage of human growth hormone, he's questioning the testing procedure itself.

The 42-year old Le was suspended for a year by the UFC following his TKO loss to Michael Bisping in August at UFC Fight Night 48. Because the event was held in Macau, People's Republic of China, which has no athletic commission, the UFC administered the tests on their own.

In a statement issued on Facebook by Le's management team, AMR, on Thursday, the fighter said he was surprised he tested positive and went on to question the UFC's testing process.

"I was completed surprised at the results of my recent drug test," Le stated. "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 [sic] 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."

Le lamented what he termed the testing's "unreliability" and "inaccuracy."

"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," Le continued. "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. "

Bisping, for his part, broke his silence on the matter on Wednesday.

"He tried to cheat me out of a victory," Bisping said. "If I would have lost to him, I wouldn't be fighting Luke Rockhold in the main event, people would probably be asking me to retire ... He tried to cheat me out of a lot."

Le's manager, Gary Ibarra, expressed disappointment the UFC chose to increase Le's original penalty of nine months' suspension to 12.

"Cung Le has been a professional martial artist for over 20 years and has always conducted himself with honor showing a deep respect for his supporters and opponents," he stated. "To have him made a public example based on suspect testing procedures conducted by a lab unfamiliar with the WADA rules is irresponsible. With the results of such testing having such a powerful effect on athletes reputations and futures we believe it would be better served to have future testing conducted by a WADA approved laboratory that knows and follows the established procedures to the letter so as to ensure something like this doesn't happen again. Cung is extremely disappointed at the results of the test and that the UFC would make such an unprecedented decision to extend his suspension from 9 to 12 months when the testing procedures remain unclear."

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