Despite his revamped physique at the age of 42, middleweight Cung Le (pictured) has denied from the jump he was on human growth hormone (hGH) in his August 23 TKO loss to Michael Bisping, despite what the UFC’s drug test stated.
On Wednesday, the UFC confirmed Le will be afforded the legal right to appeal the positive result and yearlong ban.
“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,” UFC chief operating officer Lawrence Epstein told with ESPN.com.
Le’s manager, Gary Ibarra, subsequently confirmed his client will exercise his right to appeal.
“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.”
Epstein did no state when the deadline is for Le to submit his appeal.
Le issued a statement of innocence shortly after the UFC reported his flunked drug test for hGH, questioning the testing procedure the Hong Kong lab the UFC hired to run the exam. Because the event took place in Macau, which doesn’t have a governing body for MMA, the UFC served as its own regulatory body.
The UFC was initially only going to request urine samples, but after Bisping probed for extensive exams on fight week after seeing Le’s rebuilt frame, the UFC decided to foot the bill for blood tests.
Because the blood testing was requested at the last minute, the UFC was unable to submit them to one of the 32 labs certified by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the premier organization for hGH testing in sports.
More than likely, because of how sensitive and unreliable hGH testing is, particularly when conducted by non-certified agencies, it is highly likely Le will win his appeal against the UFC.