In the professional sports world, there are typically three ways an athlete can handle a failed drug test.
Option 1: Take complete responsibility and accept your punishment like a (wo)man (extremely rare).
Option 2: Blame an unnamed over-the-counter supplement (pretty common).
Option 3: Deny, deny, deny. Then nitpick at the testing procedure to find a loophole to try and clear your name (growing in popularity).
UFC middleweight Cung Le (pictured) has gone with the last option, calling into question the UFC’s testing procedures because the suddenly-ripped 42-year-old was initially told he had passed his pre- and post-fight drug tests in August’s TKO defeat to Michael Bisping.
However, Le points out that he didn’t pass all of the blood screenings, which are typically more difficult to mask performance-enhancing drugs, like human growth hormone, which is what the kickboxer got popped for.
Here is Le’s complete statement, which was released on Athletic Management and Representation Group’s official Facebook page Thursday:
“I was completed surprised at the results of my recent drug test. 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.”
Because Le’s bout with Bisping took place in Macau, China where there’s no governing body for MMA, the UFC sanctioned the event and conducted all drug exams.
The UFC has suspended Le a year, retroactive to his August 23 fight date, for positive test.
The fight marked Le’s first in 21 months.