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

Nick Diaz passed two out of three drug tests on night of UFC 183

  • 18 days ago
  • 43 views

Recent news has surfaced regarding Nick Diaz's drug tests surrounding his theatric clash with Anderson Silva at UFC 183. The UFC 183 drug scandal involving both Nick Diaz and Anderson Silva set the M read news >>

Video: Wanderlei Silva reacts to Nevada judge lifting his lifetime ban

  • 3 days ago
  • 41 views

Wanderlei Silva posted a video thanking his fans for the support and celebrating his lifetime ban being lifted after two years away from the sport. The Axe Murderer is thrilled. A Nevada district cou read news >>

Calgary on hold if New York doesn’t come through for UFC, says White

  • 26 days ago
  • 0 views

UFC fans in Calgary, Alberta, stand to benefit if New York’s MMA ban remains this year. UFC President Dana White said the promotion is targeting an event for the city in December as a backup for New read news >>

UFC 186 draws reported 10,154 fans for $668,000 live gate in Montreal

  • 26 days ago
  • 2 views

MONTREAL – Saturday’s UFC 186 event drew an announced attendance of 10,154 fans for a live gate of $668,000.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Twitter reacts to Demetrious Johnson's last-second submission of Horiguchi at UFC 186

  • 26 days ago
  • 7 views

Check out how MMA fans, media and fighters reacted to Demetrious Johnson scoring the latest finish in UFC history at UFC 186.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>

UFC 186 'Johnson vs. Horiguchi' results recap for 'Prelims'

  • 27 days ago
  • 4 views

A colossal Canadian fight card gave fans inside the Bell Centre, and those watching live on Fight Pass and Fox Sports 1 (FS1), a sensational showing of mixed martial arts (MMA) action. The Ultimate F read news >>

UFC 186's Chad Laprise bothered by lack of recent finishes

  • 27 days ago
  • 0 views

Chad Laprise started his career with five consecutive stoppage victories. In more than three years since then, however, he’s failed to put an opponent away inside the distance.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Thomas Almeida: UFC 186 bout with Yves Jabouin will be 'a show for the fans'

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

Thomas Almeida had to face some of the unexpected struggles of a new fighter in the UFC when he made his promotion debut last year.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC 186 Demetrious Johnson vs Kyoji Horiguchi full fight video preview

  • 27 days ago
  • 58 views

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) flyweight kingpin Demetrious Johnson will look to keep his dominant 125-pound title reign intact by turning away top-ranked division contender Kyoji Horiguchi in read news >>