Former UFC Champ Georges St-Pierre Apologizes for Support of Canadian Drug Kingpin

June 29, 2014
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Georges St PierreFormer UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has apologized for his support of a friend who was arrested and pleaded guilty to drug-trafficking charges.

In a letter addressed to his fans and published on his social media accounts on Sunday, St-Pierre wrote that he made a mistake by signing a letter in support of “King of Pot” Jimmy Cournoyer. However, the former UFC champ added that he will continue to support Cournoyer as a friend.

St-Pierre’s full letter dated June 29 can be read below.

“A letter I signed in support of my friend Jimmy Cournoyer, who has recently pleaded 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 the 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 downs 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.”

Controversy began surrounding St-Pierre earlier this week when a report by the Montreal Gazette revealed that the fighter had written a letter used during Cournoyer’s trial, which followed his arrest in 2012. In the letter obtained by the Gazette, St-Pierre referred to Cournoyer as “a really good friend” and wrote that what the drug kingpin did with his life was none of the fighter’s business.

“We have a very human relationship,” St-Pierre wrote, according to the Canadian media outlet. “We share the same passions, which is sport fitness and martial arts.”

As part of his guilty plea, Cournoyer admitted to taking part in a conspiracy that dated back 16 years. Cournoyer’s crimes included the trafficking of marijuana and cocaine across U.S. borders, as well as money laundering.

St-Pierre announced last December that he was stepping away from fighting to deal with personal problems, not revealing what those issues might be. The fighter has subsequently been on record to say he stepped away partly due to what he described as the UFC’s leniency towards drug testing.

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  • paka

    IMO GSP is a good guy and he has nothing to apologize for. A friend is a friend and the media LOVES to make drama out of everything. I appreciate his loyalty and the reasons he gave made sense. Everyone has a friend or family member who has done bad things and gotten in trouble.. His loyalty is commendable. Its not like he was saying “drugs are good and he should be acquitted” sadly, people enjoy blowing things out of proportion :/

    • Sean

      Compleatly agree with you man! Rush has done nothing wrong. If standing by a friend is wrong…. Then were all guilty at some point in out lives. Enjoy life gsp, you’ve earnt it!

  • Ranch Guy

    We all need a friend like GSP. Retire Georges and enjoy what you have earned. You have nothing left to prove. You are the best welterweight ever. God bless!

  • drill

    keep digging that hole georgie…

  • DamianCross

    I can’t wait for him to apologize for being friends with Rory after they find the bodies.

    • InTheColosseumTonight

      this, ha ha thank you

  • Darin

    25 minutes!

  • Gary Fredericks

    Personally, I feel he has no reason to explain himself or no apology is necessary for supporting a friend that is in trouble for personal criminal accusations. I’d support my friends as well, otherwise why call anyone a friend if you aren’t there to back them up when in need? He’s an MMA fighter NOT a political leader.

    On the other hand unfortunately, he raised the specter of drug use in his profession as partial reason for his indefinite hiatus from the sport. To many people that will appear quite hypocritical and it very well may be. Hard to play the good guy role and support a drug kingpin at the same time. I wonder if GSP is a campaign contributor to any of embattled Toronto mayor Rob Ford’s election campaigns??? LOL

  • laleggenda27

    In my estimation, GSP’s letter in support of Cournoyer wasn’t the problem. What’s questionable/sketchy is the fact that he was “really good friends” with a major drug kingpin. I actually like GSP and generally root for the guy. But it was definitely surprising to hear that someone who plays up the good guy role is BFFs with the mastermind of a billion dollar criminal empire. And this idea that GSP wasn’t aware of his criminal activities until the arrest is absurd. In his letter, he said that Cournoyer was like a brother to him. Hell, they even vacationed together. He thought that Cournoyer was a regular dude who just so happened to take private jets to Ibiza? Get real, Georges.

    • Milosc

      American Top Team was founded by three people; two of which did time for drug trafficking

      Take from that what you will

      • RubeKegal

        They probably wanted to call it “American Pot Team” but were too high.

        • Milosc

          It was ecstasy

          (Spain to Miami, over 1 million pills from ’00 to ’01)

  • Drock420

    He should also apologize for allowing his cutman to grease him with vasoline the last time he fought BJ Penn

  • Dingo

    I’m sure if George’s friend was put in a compromising position because of George, I’m sure he would ‘off’ him with no problem. There’s no such thing as loyalty to a friend, especially with a person like that. Just look at the history of gangsters and thugs, they all rat out each other.

  • Shawn Kenyon

    Utter bullshit, I’m only speculating, however!!!! But….George is being pressured by the powers that be to denounce any knowledge of his friends activities, which in my opinion is just for pr. Any fool can see that his lawyer wrote up this bullshit letter.