Cung Le still waiting on an apology from the UFC after drug testing debacle

BY Damon Martin • October 24, 2014

The UFC announced earlier this week that they were rescinding the 12-month suspension issued to Cung Le after originally stating that he had tested positive for elevated levels of human grown hormone (HGH) following his fight against Michael Bisping in August.

Le, who maintained his innocence throughout the entire process, has now broken his silence as well following the UFC's statement.  Le had already filed for arbitration by a third party to oversee a hearing in his appeal against the suspension.

Before the hearing could ever take place, the UFC opted to drop the suspension and recall the results of the drug test after receiving 'medical advice' that "Le's elevated total HGH by itself does not prove that he took performance-enhancing drugs before the August 23rd bout."

While Le is happy to have the suspension lifted, he's still not all that excited about the way the UFC went about their business not to mention dragging his name through the mud in the process. 

"I am extremely happy with the UFC's decision to rescind my suspension," Le said in a statement sent to FOX Sports. "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."

The release that came from the UFC was worded in such a way that they never actually exonerated Le of wrong doing, only that the testing they did was inconclusive.  They stand by the initial results, but the testing itself was flawed and medically there wasn't enough evidence to uphold the suspension.

Le categorically denies ever taking any performance enhancing drugs and while he's pleased that he's no longer suspended, the promotion has yet to apologize or take responsibility for the hit his public image took when the results were released.

Le has been a martial artist for most of his life competing in San Shou before turning to mixed martial arts.  He's also started acting in several high profile films in Hollywood as well as overseas and news about a positive drug test undoubtedly marred his name in many circles.

"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," Le wrote.  "Their decision to announce me as a user of performance enhancing drugs with little thought to the accuracy of the testing or the 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."

Le's statement was also followed by some words from his managers at AMR Group, who were representing the fighter along with his legal team in the appeal hearing that would have been held had the UFC not rescinded the suspension.  Much like their client, the management team was happy the suspension was lifted, but they also believe this entire situation could have been avoided with proper testing procedures conducted by a third-party instead of the UFC themselves.

In China where the fight was being held there is no recognized athletic commission to oversee the fights.  In those areas the UFC acts as commission, which includes hiring referees, judges, medical professionals and drug testing conducted for the fighters.  They also hand down any subsequent suspensions if drug test results come back positive.

Le's management team also vehemently disagrees with the UFC's decision to rescind the suspension but not actually state at any point an apology for this entire situation unfolding.  The court of public opinion judges quickly and harshly and rarely does an athlete accused of using performance enhancing drugs ever completely outlive the charge.

Le is no exception to the rule.

"The absence of a former apology, in light of the recent "medical advice" the UFC received, which prompted them to life his suspension, is outrageous," representatives from AMR Group wrote in a statement.  "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."

At this point it's unclear if Le or his management team will pursue any further legal action against the UFC after the drug test debacle.  



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