SI: Six Former WWE Champions Tied to Steroid/HGH Investigation

In a new story on SI.com, Sports Illustrated reporters Luis Fernando Llosa and L. Jon Wertheim named five additional pro wrestlers as having ties to the February Jupiter, FL, drug raid:

  • Former WWE Champion Eddie Guerrero
  • Former WWE Champion Edge
  • Former World Heavyweight Champion Rey Mysterio
  • Former World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton
  • Former Cruiserweight Champion Gregory Helms

In addition to Kurt Angle, cited in the previous story on the subject, that brings the total number of implicated in this investigation up to six men who have held WWE gold. This of course includes WWE Hall of Famer Eddie Guerrero, who passed away in November 2005 due to heart problems that have been linked to possible steroids and/or human growth hormone.

While former Olympic Gold Medalist Angle released a statement (click the above link), none of the other named wrestlers commented to SI for their story. Gary Davis, head of WWE communications, pointed SI to the company’s Wellness Program – instituted in February 2006 – and stated that the policy “prohibits the use of performance enhancing drugs,” as well as other drugs not taken with a valid prescription. He went on to say that Internet prescriptions are not considered by WWE to be valid.

All of the allegations set forth in a recent SI.com article mentioning WWE predate the initiation of WWE’s current Talent Wellness Program. This WWE program prohibits the use of performance enhancing drugs, as well as other prescription drugs which can be abused, if taken for other than a legitimate medical purpose pursuant to a valid prescription from a licensed and treating physician. For purposes of WWE’s policy, prescriptions obtained over the Internet and/or from suppliers of prescription drugs from the Internet are not considered to have been given for a legitimate medical purpose.

According to the SI reporters, Adam Copeland (Edge) and Helms received HGH from “David Wilbirt, an Arizona doctor, was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Agency from 2001 to 2005 for allegedly writing 3,879 prescriptions between November 2004 and April 2005, all for ‘patients’ who had requested drugs over the Internet.” There were a total of 11 pro wrestlers (some indie wrestlers, some currently not active wrestlers) mentioned in documents seen by the reporters that alleged receipt of performance-enhancing drugs. The majority of these wrestlers, including Guerrero, Orton, Angle and Mysterio, allegedly received steroids rather than HGH. The article also states that “Orton allegedly ordered drugs from the same doctors as [MLB player Gary] Matthews Jr.”

SI.com also mentions what has already been emphasized: the investigation is targeting the distributors, including doctors writing phony prescriptions. The individual athletes may face discipline from the organizations for which they work, but the government isn’t going after them. For the full story, including details on the exact drugs being linked to these wrestlers, click here.

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