Former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has released a letter explaining his recent support for a friend – one who’s also a drug kingpin currently awaiting trial for trafficking and other crimes.

St-Pierre’s letter of support for Jimmy Cournoyer became public this past week, linking one of MMA’s cleanest-cut stars to the drug trafficker.

However, St-Pierre said he was unaware of Cournoyer’s crimes until his arrest and that he doesn’t “condone any of his criminal actions.” However, the Canadian fighter said “I believe in redemption, and I believe in loyalty.”

Cournoyer, who struck up a friendship with St-Pierre in 2009 thanks to their mutual admiration of martial arts, recently pled guilty in the U.S. on a number of trafficking charges for marijuana (earning him the nickname the “King of Pot”) and cocaine. As part of a plea deal, he also admitted to money laundering and taking part in a conspiracy from 1998-2012.

Cournoyer, 34, will be sentenced on Aug. 20.

Check out St-Pierre’s letter above, or read the full text here:

June 29, 2014

A letter I signed in support of my friend Jimmy Cournoyer, who has recently pleased guilty to a number of drug traffic-related crimes in the U.S., has generated a great deal of controversy over the last few days.

First of all, the letter I signed was a mistake – my mistake. I will not go into detail as to why and how the letter came about because it’s not going to right a wrong. I simply wanted to help repatriate Jimmy to a Canadian prison, closer to his family, if that was possible.

My friendship with Jimmy is based on our mutual passion for martial arts and going to the gym. I was not aware of Jimmy’s crimes until he was arrested by the U.S. authorities. I do not condone any of his criminal actions. He will and should pay for his actions. My position against the use of drugs has been on record for years, and speaks for itself.

I have been to visit Jimmy in prison – twice so far. We also had many conversations since his arrest. Why? Because I believe in redemption, and I believe in loyalty. I will continue to support him – as a friend. In fact, if Jimmy leaves prison one day, I should be there to help him start over in a better way.

I want to unconditionally apologize to those who have been offended by my actions. But I often say that the wheel of life turns and turns, causing ups and down for each of us. I was also taught that a real friend is there to offer support at the best and the worst of times.

Sincerely,
George St-Pierre

St-Pierre (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC), the UFC’s former longtime welterweight champion, vacated his title and announced a break from competition following a November title win over Johny Hendricks. In March, he said a torn ACL would likely keep him out of action until 2015.

The UFC recently announced a December event intended to take place in Montreal, St-Pierre’s current home, has instead been pushed back to March 2015. A new location hasn’t been announced for the card, UFC 181, which takes place Dec. 6.

For more on the organization’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Attorney: Following public apology, Wanderlei Silva released from UFC contract

  • 28 days ago
  • 43 views

The UFC on Wednesday released Wanderlei Silva from his contract with the industry-leader, freeing him to fight for other promoters, the fighter’s longtime attorney today told MMAjunkie.Filed under: F read news >>

Wanderlei Silva Reportedly Released from UFC Contract: Latest Details, Reaction

  • 28 days ago
  • 6 views

Steven Marrocco of MMAjunkie.com reported Thursday the UFC released Wanderlei Silva from his contract with the company.The news coincides with Silva recanting his previous claim this past summer that read news >>

Wanderlei Silva Retracts UFC Fight-Fixing Statements, Reportedly Released from Contract

  • 28 days ago
  • 3 views

While Wanderlei Silva awaits resolution over his lifetime ban handed down by the Nevada Athletic Commission, it appears that he is close to being free of the UFC. read news >>

Fans invited to next month's Bellator Fan Fest with Angle, Ortiz, Couture, more

  • 28 days ago
  • 4 views

Bellator heads to Houston for next month’s “tentpole event.” Beforehand, fans can get up close and personal with some MMA legends.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

10 reasons to watch UFC Fight Night 81, including end of 'real champ' talk

  • 28 days ago
  • 3 views

Fans who came to the UFC early in the Ronda Rousey revolution have witnessed a single live Dominick Cruz fight. Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 81 event presents a second opportunity to watch him – and it’s read news >>

Video: Headliner Dominick Cruz arrives to UFC workouts on crutches

  • 28 days ago
  • 26 views

BOSTON – Fans and media in attendance at UFC Fight Night 81 open workouts got a bit of a scare from headliner Dominick Cruz.Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Video: Dominick Cruz grateful for fans, sure of his place in MMA history

  • 27 days ago
  • 7 views

BOSTON – Former UFC and WEC champion Dominick Cruz remembers the days when nobody cared much about what he was doing. Interviews were carried out in casino hallways. Now, things are a bit different.F read news >>

The legend of Dominick Cruz, and the quest to solidify it as fact

  • 27 days ago
  • 5 views

Dominick Cruz has fought so infrequently in recent years that he’s become something of an MMA myth. By throwing himself straight into the fire against champion T.J. Dillashaw, he gains a chance to be read news >>

Fans invited to next week's star-studded UFC 197 press conference in Vegas

  • 27 days ago
  • 8 views

Fans can get their first look at UFC 197’s headliners and co-headliners during a press conference next week in Las Vegas.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

FOX Sports suspends analyst Kenny Florian following plagiarism issue

  • 26 days ago
  • 66 views

FOX Sports has suspended former UFC fighter and current analyst Kenny Florian following his recent apology for plagiarism.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>