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WWE: Confirmed 3 superstars with only one wellness policy strike left

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Dave Meltzer confirms in the latest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that former ECW Champion Chavo Guerrero is actually one drug test failure away from an automatic termination from World Wrestling Entertainment, not two. The other two wrestlers in the company in the same uneasy position are of course Jeff Hardy and William Regal.

As we all know, Guerrero, along with several other WWE wrestlers were named by Sports Illustrated to be given illegal steroids not in compliance with the company’s drug testing policy. Guerrero received somatropin (Growth Hormone), nandrolone (anabolic steroid commonly known as Deca-Durabolin), and anastrozole (the drug used to prevent side effects such as "manboobs" during a steroid cycle) between April 2005 and May 2006 through Signature Pharmacy, an alleged illegal Internet drug distribution network. Because purchasing drugs through the Internet is in direct violation of WWE’s Wellness policy, Guerrero was suspended.

Unlike the other WWE wrestlers busted in the Signature Pharmacy scandal last fall, they only sat out for 30 days, whereas Guerrero mysteriously sat on the sidelines for just a shade over 60 days. Guerrero was officially suspended on Thursday, August 30 and returned to action on November 3, 2007, which was a Saturday night SmackDown/ECW house show. That was the first scheduled WWE show a wrestler on a 60-day suspension from the August 30th suspensions would have been permitted to appear on. Apparently, Guerrero’s first suspension quietly slipped under the radar some time ago and went unreported.

Back in July 2006, after a number of SmackDown stars went down with Wellness related issues the week before the Great American Bash pay-per-view, which caused havoc on the card, Vince McMahon made the decision to not pull future suspendees from television because he didn’t want sudden suspensions to ruin his heavily-hyped pay-per-view cards. Instead, future suspensions called for wrestlers to miss a month’s worth of downside pay, not to mention their pay-per-view bonus. Also, the suspendees would be pulled from all house shows for a 30-day period. The new rule allowed Randy Orton to wrestle Hulk Hogan at SummerSlam, who was suspended in August 2006 for a Wellness Policy violation (he failed for steroids). Last July, WWE reverted the policy to completely ban suspended talent from television as well in light of the aftermath following the Chris Benoit double-murder/suicide.