Instagram doesn’t lie! UFC fighter Cung Le (9-3-0) posted a photo to his social media showing himself looking much bigger than he had appeared in previous fight camps leading up to his August 23 bout at UFC Fight Night 48 in Macau, China against Michael Bisping. Upon seeing the photo, Bisping requested that the UFC conduct a blood and urine test.
Both the result of the fight and the results of the test came out unfavorable for Le who lost in the fourth round by TKO and was caught with Human Growth Hormone (HGH) in his system. Le, who is 42 years old, consistently denied using any banned substances. He also asserted that the instagram photo was only remarkable due to perfect timing and lighting.
Official UFC Statement- “UFC middleweight Cung Le tested positive for an excess level of Human Growth Hormone in his system following his fight at UFC Fight Night in Macao, China on August 23. Due to his positive test result, Le was suspended by the UFC and notified that he violated the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy and Promotional Agreement with Zuffa, LLC. The UFC has a strict, consistent policy against the use of any illegal and/or performance-enhancing drugs, stimulants or masking agents by our athletes. Le will serve a nine-month suspension and, at its conclusion, will need to pass a drug test before competing in the UFC again.”
The original suspension granted on September 30th left Cung Le out of commission for nine months. The decision was revisited a day later and changed to a full-year suspension.
“After review by UFC Senior Management, an error was discovered regarding the length of Cung Le’s suspension due to a failed drug test. While originally stated as nine months, the correct suspension period to be enforced is 12 months.”
HGH is produced naturally in the pituitary gland and is the catalyst for growth spurts in children and adolescents. It has a number of purported effects on athletic performance, placing it under the label of a performance-enhancing drug (PED). The substance started being manufactured synthetically in the mid 1980’s and was banned in most sports by the 90’s.
Le is a staple middleweight in the UFC. He started his professional MMA career with Strikeforce in 2006 and came over with a host of other fighters in 2011 when the UFC purchased the promotion. Luckily for Le, MMA is not his only profession. He is also an actor, and it is unlikely that directors are going to care if he is taking PEDs.