US Wrestling Scene News

WWE: Changes made to Wellness Policy; list of all failures so far

In addition to amendments to its Substance Abuse and Drug Testing Policy, WWE has undertaken several enhancements to its overall Talent Wellness Program since its inception in February 2006. Updates include:

* Retaining ImPACT Inc. to manage operations and administration of the Talent Wellness Program. Through ImPact, WWE obtained the services of Dr. Joseph Maroon as the program’s Medical Director. He will coordinate a team of physicians and medical personnel for program implementation. Here’s a link to the current WWE Talent Wellness Program Medical Team.

* Publicly announcing suspensions of performers. As of November 1, 2007, suspensions resulting from violations of the Talent Wellness Program have been announced publicly. More than 30 suspensions have been issued since the start of the Talent Wellness Program.

* Adding new drugs to the list of banned substances in the program. Anti-estrogens have been added to the list of banned substances due to their ability to be used to mask the effects of steroid use.

* Mandatory pre-contract cardiovascular, drug screening and physical exams for potential new performers.

* Mandatory cognitive tests for performers to monitor brain conditions. WWE is now using The ImPACT™ Concussion Management Program for all WWE performers. The ImPACT program is used by the National Football League, the National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, and the NCAA.

* Expanding drug treatment services to former performers. For the past 20 years, an important component of WWE’s efforts to deter its performers from abusing drugs has been its commitment to assist performers in receiving appropriate drug rehabilitation and treatment programs. WWE has expanded this offer to include any individuals who had ever performed under contract to WWE during their careers. More than 500 letters were sent out to former performers in September 2007. So far, more than a dozen former performers have sought assistance, and we continue to receive calls to our 24-hour hotline inquiring about the program.

Here is a list of superstars that have been suspended thus far for violating the Wellness Policy:

– Randy Orton
– Joey Mercury
– Rene Dupree (two-time offender)
– Kurt Angle
– Rob Van Dam (due to a drug possession arrest)
– Kid Kash
– Ryan Reeves
– Ryan O’Reilly
– Balls Mahoney
– Drew “Festus” Hankinson
– Andrew “Test” Martin
– referee Chris Kay (two-time offender, later fired)
– Jeff Hardy (two-time offender)
– Chavo Guerrero (two-time offender)
– Chris Masters (two-time offender, later fired)
– Edge
– Funaki
– Gregory Helms
– Booker T (two-time offender)
– Charlie Haas
– Mr. Kennedy
– Umaga
– William Regal (two-time offender)
– John Morrison
– Gene Snitsky
– Harry “DH” Smith
– Derrick Neikirk (later fired)
– Neil “Chet the Jet” Bzibziak (later fired)
– Afa, Jr. (for attempting to cheat a drug test back in February or March with a realistic prosthetic penis, which forced WWE to change the testing procedure by making the dropping of a performer’s trousers below the knees in front of a doctor mandatory in all future drug tests)
– Jimmy Wang Yang