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.

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

'UFC 193 Embedded' preview: Tyson, Wahlberg, Schwarzenegger on Rousey-Holm

  • 21 days ago

The UFC has released an extended video preview of “UFC 193 Embedded,” and it’s an A-list affair.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Holly Holm Could Ruin Ronda Rousey for Mainstream Fans

  • 22 days ago

It hasn't taken long for Ronda Rousey has become the biggest star in combat sports. One of the major components of her ever-growing mythos is her ability to finish her opponents in quick, clean fashi read news >>

Latest batch of USADA testing: 23 tests, including a pair for Vitor Belfort

  • 22 days ago

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has released its latest round of drug testing numbers, and 14 fighters have taken part in the new testing process for the first time.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC Fight Night 77: Who's on the Hot Seat in Sao Paulo?

  • 25 days ago

After a long hiatus, UFC fans ease into one of the busiest stretches in promotional history on Saturday with UFC Fight Night 77 going down from the Brazilian metropolis of Sao Paulo. In the main even read news >>

UFC's drug testing of Vitor Belfort isn't adding up (Yahoo Sports)

  • 25 days ago

From Yahoo Sports: Why has Ronda Rousey, who's never tested positive for PEDs, been tested twice as often as Vitor Belfort, who has multiple failed drug tests in his past? read news >>

UFC's new drug testing program isn't adding up (Yahoo Sports)

  • 25 days ago

From Yahoo Sports: Why has Ronda Rousey, who's never tested positive for PEDs, been tested twice as often as Vitor Belfort, who has multiple failed drug tests in his past? read news >>

Count Max Holloway Among Nick Diaz Defenders: ‘It’s a Bunch of BS’

  • 25 days ago

Featherweight contender Max Holloway became the most recent fighter to speak out about Nick Diaz’ five-year suspension for testing positive for marijuana. read news >>

Vitor Belfort Video: Defends Controversial UFC 152 Drug Tests, Talks Dan Henderson

  • 26 days ago

Vitor Belfort discusses the controversial drug tests surrounding UFC 152, his upcoming trilogy bout with Dan Henderson, and his recent meeting with Dr. Ben Carson. read news >>

Oscar De La Hoya says he's discussed a Ronda Rousey boxing debut

  • 26 days ago

Boxing magazine “The Ring” recently released their January cover featuring Ronda Rousey and asking if she could conquer boxing as she has done with MMA. Oscar De La Hoya would like to be a part of th read news >>

With Nurm Out, Edson Barboza vs. Tony Ferguson Still Has Real Title Implications

  • 27 days ago

MMA fans felt a painful—albeit familiar—twinge when Khabib Nurmagomedov announced earlier this week that he will withdraw from his December 11 lightweight bout with Tony Ferguson. It's hard to replac read news >>