This article was updated throughout the time period of the scandal and will continue to be updated if anything new comes to light. If posting this article please leave a hyperlink to this website, thank you.
On August 30, 2007 WWE made a statement on their corporate website that they had suspended 10 of its active performers/wrestlers due to Wellness Violations (WWE’s active drugs testing and general wellness policy.) They would not release the names of said wrestlers until November 1, 2007 when all current and future violators of the Wellness Policy would be named and shamed on their public website in an act to inform, humiliate and deter. Vince McMahon told all the stars personally.
11 WWE Wrestlers Suspended For Wellness Policy Violations
WWE’s lead attorney Jerry McDevitt was on FOX News’ Greta Van Sustren the same night and said that the company would be having conversations with several other talents on the 31st before deciding to suspend them or not.
Later on McDevitt confirmed to Newsday that one more unnamed wrestler had been suspended for “violating the Wellness Policy.” Bringing the total amount confirmed by WWE to 11 suspended wrestlers, although more would surface from other sources.
Under the wellness policy, which requires tests for steroids, performance enhancers and other recreational drugs (now marijuana), a wrestler faces a 30-day suspension for a first violation, a 60-day suspension for a second violation, a firing for a third violation and wages are withheld with all suspensions. The policy has been, and still is made a mockery of by experts.
Multiple WWE Wrestlers Busted In Illegal Pharmacy Ring
Ironically on the same day several major media outlets named and shamed multiple WWE and former wrestlers (15 in total) in an online pharmacy ring. Said wrestlers used an online pharmacy to gain access to illegal steroids, performance enhancing drugs and over prescriptions of all forms of mentioned drugs. It seems WWE only suspended the stars because they were aware that the media had hold of the list. The officials in Albany NY, discovered the list and contacted WWE asking if they were going to act on the findings. WWE then released the statement about suspended wrestlers. Sports Illustrated and other sources got hold of the list and released the names. It was a case of who on the list did WWE suspend, not who did WWE suspend who happened to be on the list.
The New York Daily News, ESPN and Sports Illustrated reported the following names respectively:
Randy Orton, Charlie Haas, Adam Copeland (Edge), Robert Huffman (King Booker), Shane Helms, Mike Bucci (the now retired Simon Dean, who was not on the active roster and worked in talent development), Anthony Carelli (Santino Marella), John Hennigan (ECW Champion John Morrison), Darren Matthews (William Regal), Ken Anderson (Kennedy), Chavo Guerrero, Shoichi Funaki, Dave Bautista (Batista), Chris Mordetsky (Masters) and Eddie Fatu (Umaga). All of which are or have been major stars in the WWE during the last few years.
Randy Orton did not suffer a suspension and it is generally thought that because he was on his last chance he may have been punished before it was agreed to suspend all the other wrestlers. Thus he was not suspended with everyone else. Others see this as WWE covering up for one of its top stars. We will probably never know.
It would later be revealed by inside sources that Snitsky was also suspended but was some how lost in the media shuffle. He returned to the ring the same time as other 30 day suspended wrestlers.
The only TNA star to be mentioned was former WWE performer and Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle (although not confirmed). He mutually left WWE after admitting to having drug problems (WWE did not fire him because of this). Little more has been reported regarding Angle and TNA’s drug policy (or lack of) is kept private as they are not a public company.
Batista is the only wrestler that may have been named by accident and is looking to take legal action. WWE are currently preventing any employee to speak to the media regarding this subject.
Former WWE wrestler Mike “Simon Dean” Bucci, who had been working in talent relations was released late on the 31st in wake of this steroid scandal. Dean was one of the names mentioned in the illegal pharmacy ring.
Mike was apparently called in to a meeting to discuss the issue and was later released. The feeling being that because he manages the developmental territories he was setting a bad example. The ironic thing is that if you check the time line below, he purchased the drugs before retiring as a wrestler.
Nick Dinsmore “Eugene” was also fired and although hasn’t cropped up in the list has had a history of drug and wellness problems. The consensus is that WWE did not want anyone who has had major problems in the past on the roster. He was recently resigned as a trainer in OVW. Rather contradictory of Simon Dean’s firing.
List Of Drugs Bought By Wrestlers
Later in the day Sports Illustrated went in to detail on what wrestlers had purchased which drugs and in what time frame, proving that somewhere along the line the Wellness Policy had failed to detect any problems. They also mentioned three stars that are now dead who had received items from the pharmacy, that being Chris Benoit, Brian “Crush” Adams and Eddie Guerrero:
Somatropin (a Human Growth Hormone)
Nandrolone (Anabolic steroid)
Genotropin (Human Growth Hormone)
Stanozolol (Anabolic steroid which counter effects problems with other steroids)
Anastrozole (Stops side effects of steroid use such as breast growth)
Testosterone (Natural steroid)
Chorionic Gonadotropin (Maintains natural testosterone)
- Chris Benoit, received nandrolone and anastrozole in February 2006.
- Eddie Guerrero received nadrolone, testosterone and anastrozole two weeks before passing away in November of 2005.
- Brian Adams (Crush) received nandrolone, testosterone, and somatropin in December 2006. He was not employed by WWE at that time, and hadn’t worked for the company for several years.
- Sylvain Grenier, who received somatropin, nandrolone, genotropin and stanozolol from February 2005 through July 2006.
The other ten wrestlers on the list are all currently employed by WWE (although some are out injured). Remember, WWE started their Wellness Policy on February 27, 2006.
- Chavo Guerrero received somatropin, nandrolone and anastrozole from April 2005 through May 2006.
- Shane Helms received testosterone, genotropin and nandrolone from November 2003 through February 2007.
- Randy Orton received somatropin, nandrolone, stanozolol form September 2004 through February 2007.
- John Hennigan (Morrison) received somatropin, anastrozole, testosterone, stanozolol and chorionic gonadotropin from June 2006 through February 2007.
- Ken Anderson (Kennedy) received anastrozole, somatropin and testosterone from October 2006 through February 2007.
- Shoichi Funaki received somatropin in March 2006.
- Charlie Haas received anastrozole, somatropin, stanozolol, nandrolone and chorionic gonadotropin from August 2006 through January 2007.
- Edward Fatu (Umaga) received somatropin between July and December 2006.
- Darren Matthews (William Regal) received stanozolol, somatropin, genotropin and anastrozole between November 2004 and November 2006.
- Adam Copeland (Edge) received somatropin, genotropin, and stanozolol between September 2004 and February 2007.
The Fallout Of Suspensions & Steroid Bust
One of the major names in the sting is Ken Kennedy’s, simply for the fact of his bone faced lying and ripping of the media. He did a podcast for The Sun Newspaper here in my own misinformed country of England and claimed that he’d never taken steroids in the WWE, that there is not a problem like there was in the 80′s and in a round about way that the media are assholes. I got hoards of hate mail for questioning him, now I sit back with twisted satisfaction. He’s made a mockery of WWE right when he’s about to be pushed to the main event.
John Morrison was the ECW champ at the time finally making room for the straight edge superstar CM Punk to take the title.
To begin with Experts expected a repeat of the early 90′s where the natural looking big guys would be pushed to the top (aka Kevin Nash) and smaller guys would get the spotlight such as CM Punk and HBK. Kevin Nash, Shawn Michaels and Bret hart were the major pushes in the last steroid trial. But the heat seemingly died down and Vince pretty much went back to business.
Ratings were low before the suspensions and were not considerably affected by the scandal.
Vince has a history of “No Selling” important situations and to him it was just another day at the office.
Booker T’s Departure
Booker T who’s relationship was on rocky ground with WWE before his suspension took this incident as the last straw. Rumors flooded the media that Booker T was not coming back after his 60 day suspension and they proved to be right. In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel shortly after his release he stated:
“I feel that I wasn’t protected by the (WWE). I feel like I got suspended without just cause. I feel like it wasn’t right, and that’s the reason why I chose to leave WWE because in order to protect my reputation, I have to believe in something.”
“I’ve never heard my name come up in any scandals or anything like that. You’ve never heard of Booker T having a late-night party or was drunk on the town naked. I’ve been a total role model as far as my professional wrestling career goes. I just want to keep it that way. I’ve got a lot of fans out there. A lot of kids look up to me.”
A lot of wrestlers felt the way Booker T did. As if they’d been left out to dry and get ripped to shreds by the media.
Harry Smith & Chris Masters Get Shamed
The first two people to be named and shamed after WWE went public with suspensions were Chris Masters and Harry Smith, just one day after the initiative was instigated on November 1st. A lot of people were upset to see the rookie Harry Smith crop up considering his father was the legendary British Bulldog, who died of a heart attack attributed to years of steroid abuse. Chris Masters was released a few days in to this second suspension.
WWE is now offering any past or present talent the opportunity for free rehab to help combat the problem of drug use in wrestling. Admissions tend to be for alcohol or prescription pill addictions, but more often than not years of steroid abuse can play in to the deadly concoction and may need to be treated as well. Steroid use is known to enlarge the heart and therefore increases stress on the body caused by other drugs. If you as a fan are suffering from drug problems you may wish to visit Axis Residential Treatment or other rehabilitation centers similar to what the WWE stars are admitted to.
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