clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cung Le calls for ‘rightly owed’ apology from UFC following mishandled HGH test

Jayne Russell

Rather than take its case to arbitration, the UFC earlier this week elected to rescind the one-year suspension it handed down to Cung Le following a botched post-fight drug test at UFC Fight Night 48, the same test which the promotion initially announced as popping positive for excess levels of Human Growth Hormone (HGH).

In a press release, the UFC cited recent "medical advice" as its reasoning for electing to rescind Le's suspension, stating that, "in accordance with such medical advice, UFC has determined that Le's elevated total HGH by itself does not prove that he took performance-enhancing drugs before the August 23rd bout."

The UFC's decision, at least officially, cleared Le's name of any wrongdoing. Though while it left Le vindicated in his claims, both the 42-year-old former Strikeforce champion and his management have taken issue with the "outrageous" lack of any formal apology within the promotion's words.

"I am extremely happy with the UFC's decision to rescind my suspension," Le wrote in a statement released to on Thursday. "I believe the issues raised in regards to the testing procedures as well as the manner in which the results were determined by the UFC clearly support my assertion that I did not use any performance enhancing drugs. I am also happy to take away the fact that the UFC has decided to make the proper changes in their testing procedures which will now ensure that no athlete will ever have to endure the same hardship.

"While I feel vindicated in this matter, the UFC's press release does little in the way of an apology of which I believe I am rightly owed after unfairly enduring the public's scrutiny. Their decision to announce me as a user of performance enhancing drugs with little thought to the accuracy of the testing or proper procedures has caused my family and I great pain; that we have now come to know was completely unnecessary had the proper care been taken to ensure my test results were in fact valid proof of impropriety."

"The AMR Group is also extremely happy with the UFC's decision to avoid arbitration and rescind their 12 month suspension of Cung Le," Le's manager, Gary Ibarra, continued in the same statement. "The evidence of my client's innocence was overwhelming in this instance and the UFC's decision to forego any further action and exonerate him is proof positive of that. We hope that my client will not now forever be associated with illegal doping especially now that he has been completely cleared of any wrongdoing.

"Regardless of the UFC's decision, we are left to wonder if this whole matter should have ever happened at all but we do now know several things for certain: 1) my client did not take any performance enhancing drugs, 2) we questioned the propriety of the testing procedures before the UFC announced their initial suspension, 3) sports doping tests should be left to impartial third party experts, and 4) the UFC should have confirmed and evaluated my client's test results before dispensing discipline and making inaccurate statements that could permanently tarnish Cung's previously pristine reputation," Ibarra continued.

"The absence of a formal apology, in light of the recent ‘medical advice' the UFC received, which prompted them to lift his suspension, is outrageous. Moreover, the insinuation that my client will not be disciplined due to ‘the [mere] lack of conclusive laboratory results,' is a clear attempt to deflect responsibility and cloud my client's innocence, when, in fact, the mistakes that were made resulted solely from the UFC's reckless and premature actions and decisions."

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting