Steroids in MMA
Which MMA Fighter Will Test Positive For Steroids Next?

Cung Le’s HGH Suspension Lifted by UFC Due to ‘Lack of Conclusive Laboratory Results’


(Photo via Getty)

After being suspended from competition for 12 months due to a positive test for excessive human growth hormone (HGH) following UFC Fight Night 48, UFC middleweight Cung Le went on a public campaign arguing that the testing protocols used by the UFC for its August event in Macau were completely sub-standard. Essentially, the UFC farmed out the work to a local lab that maybe didn’t know what it was doing and destroyed Le’s sample so he couldn’t appeal the result.

Fortunately, the UFC has done the right thing by rescinding the suspension, and Le is now free to fight again. Here’s the official statement from UFC.com:

At UFC Fight Night Macao on August 23rd, UFC contracted with an independent drug testing laboratory in Hong Kong to perform urinalysis testing on all fighters on the card. Additionally, UFC requested the laboratory to test blood samples from 4 fighters for human growth hormone (HGH), erythropoietin (EPO) and testosterone.

One of the athletes who had his blood tested was Cung Le. The laboratory results from Le’s blood test were sent to the UFC and showed that his blood had a total HGH level outside the reference range. Based on such results, UFC officials determined that Le had violated his promotional agreement and the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy. Consequently, UFC decided that Le should be suspended from unarmed combat competition for 12 months.

Following the announcement of Le’s suspension, UFC officials have been provided with medical advice regarding the elevated total HGH present in Le’s system. 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. As a result, UFC has informed Le that his suspension is rescinded.

Le had requested an appeal of his suspension, and was entitled to arbitrate the drug test results and suspension. However, based on the lack of conclusive laboratory results, UFC officials deemed it appropriate to immediately rescind the suspension without the need for further proceedings.

The UFC organization has always been a leader when it comes to testing for performance-enhancing drugs in combat sports. All UFC athletes know they are subject to drug testing by an applicable state athletic commission, an international governing federation, or by an independent laboratory contracted by the UFC when no regulatory body is overseeing the event. In those cases where regulatory oversight is unavailable, UFC voluntarily chooses to adhere to the highest level of athlete health and safety protocols similar to if the event were being held in the state of Nevada.

It’s a somewhat embarrassing learning experience for the UFC, which has been trying to improve fighter drug testing lately by adding additional screenings for performance-enhancers like HGH and EPO. The problem is, not all testing facilities are created equal — and that’s exactly why the UFC needs to nail down a deal with a credible, truly independent drug-testing agency as soon as humanly possible.

Cagepotato Comments

Showing 1-25 of comments

comments
Sort by : Show hidden comments
CagePotatoMMA