Georges St. Pierre calls a letter he signed in support of a convicted drug trafficker a “mistake” and apologized “unconditionally” to any offended. The former UFC welterweight champion has long been a loud voice against the use of performance enhancing drugs in sports.
“My friendship with Jimmy [Cournoyer] is based on our mutual passion for martial arts and going to the gym,” St. Pierre writes of the man with whom he once vacationed. “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 the record for years and speaks for itself.”
Cournoyer pled guilty to drug trafficking, witness tampering, and money laundering in a U.S. federal court last year in exchange for a possible minimum twenty-year sentence. The feds once alleged that Cournoyer maintained a $2 million “hit fund” to whack talkative former associates. He awaits sentencing. GSP maintains that the entreaty written on “Cosmo” Cournoyer’s behalf pertained to moving him to a Canadian prison so that he could be closer to friends and family. St. Pierre called Cournoyer “like a brother” in the initial missive to the court.
“I have been to visit Jimmy in Prison–twice so far,” St. Pierre, 33, concedes in his current open letter.
St. Pierre last competed in the octagon in November when he claimed a controversial split decision victory over Johny Hendricks. The 25-2 champion announced an indefinite hiatus from the sport immediately after the fight. The Canadian wrestler/karateka/Brazilian jujitsu black belt boasts wins over B.J. Penn, Matt Hughes, Nick Diaz, and Sean Sherk.
As St. Pierre’s return to the cage remains uncertain, Cournoyer’s eventual emergence from it appears equally iffy. Nevertheless, GSP won’t abandon his fellow MMA enthusiast and former vacation buddy. St. Pierre maintains that “a real friend is there to offer support at the best and worst times.”
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