Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Oversight Committee Chair Releases Letter Regarding Illegal Steroid Use in Professional Wrestling

From the Committee's website:

"In a letter to Office of National Drug Control Policy Director John P. Walters, Chairman Waxman summarizes results of the Committee’s investigation into steroid use in professional wrestling and requests that ONDCP examine the widespread steroid abuse and systemic deficiencies in testing policies and practices."

The letter notes that the reports and investigation were a response to concerns about the incident on June 24, 2007 in which "Chris Benoit, a professional wrestler with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), killed his wife and son and hung himself. According to press reports, Mr. Benoit's testosterone levels were ten times normal levels when he committed suicide."

"In response to concerns about this incident, the Committee wrote to the WWE, Total Nonstop Action, and other professional wrestling organizations requesting information on their steroid policies and their knowledge of steroid abuse within their organizations. The Committee also conducted transcribed interviews with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and other professional wrestling officials."

From reading the Vince McMahon interview, the WWE Chairman seems content on blissful ignorance. Claiming repeatedly that he is a "layman" and if the Committee wants to know about the effects of steroid use they should consult the FDA and not him.

The report summary shows:
  • In the first year of the WE's testing program, which began in March 2006,40% of wrestlers tested positive for steroids and other drugs even after being warned in advance that they were going to be tested.
  • Six months after the WWE announced its 2006 steroid testing policy, it relaxed the policy to allow wrestlers suspended for steroid abuse to participate in "selected televised events" and "pay-per-views."
  • The WWE hired four of five wrestlers who tested positive for steroids in "pre-contract" testing conducted in2007 and 2008.
  • The WWE regularly approved "therapeutic use exemptions," explicitly allowing the use of steroids as part of a "testosterone replacement acceptance ptogtam" for wrestlers who abused steroids in the past.
  • Test results from the 'WWE's top competitor, Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, reveal that a large proportion of TNA wrestlers have also tested positive.

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Pro-Hat Party said...

the interviews are enjoyable reading.

Jason said...

Yeah. The interview with Vince was quite entertaining.