Georges St-Pierre is pulling a lot fewer punches now that he's no longer an active fighter.
Free of his burden as the sport's golden boy and leading company man, the long-reigning UFC welterweight champion, who in December abdicated his title and announced an indefinite leave of absence from competition, is now sounding off on what he sees as inferior drug-testing standards across the MMA landscape.
"There [are] a lot of people on drugs," St-Pierre said in an interview with TSN's Off the Record program (h/t David St. Martin of MMA Fighting). "I'm never sure 100 percent. The reason is I don't want to accuse any individual. If you accuse one individual, 20 others will arrive. What I want to attack? I want to attack the system. I don't want to attack the individual. People have to understand, I don't want to attack the UFC...I want to do that to help the brand, help the sport."
This is not the first time St-Pierre has spoken out on the sport's culture around performance-enhancing drugs and drug testing.
In January, GSP said to Nicolas Landry of RDS (via Matt Erickson of USA Today) lax testing policies, and by extension, a failure to hold cheaters accountable, was part of the reason he walked away from the sport.
In the TSN interview, St-Pierre said he has received widespread support for his stance from fighters and others, even as he has faced double-barreled criticism from UFC president Dana White.
"I think right now there is a big problem," St-Pierre said. "When I came out with this I got so many text messages from guys who are afraid to speak. Not even fighters, reporters are afraid to lose their credentials. But they tell me 'You're doing the right thing. We support you.'"
Per his standard protocol since hanging up his gloves, the ex-champ was coy in his interview about when or even whether he might return to competition.
"It's not a retirement. I would call it more of a break because I don't know if I will retire or not right now," St-Pierre said. "I just knew I needed a break from the competition."
St-Pierre is widely regarded as the best welterweight in MMA history and one of the best to ever compete in any weight class.
In his most recent fight, GSP took a narrow split-decision win over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167. Many observers believe Hendricks did enough to win the fight, and many called for an immediate rematch. However, St-Pierre announced his hiatus that evening and again in a more official capacity a few weeks later.
Scott Harris writes about MMA for Bleacher Report. Follow Scott on Twitter.
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