AS I SEE IT 3/22: WWE gets a black eye right before Wrestlemania

Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

A ticking time bomb went off only 2 weeks before Wrestlemania, as Adam Copeland, Shane Helms, Rey Misterio, Jr., and the late Eddie Guerrero were tied to a major steroid ring by Sports Illustrated investigation.

The Sports Illustrated series of articles previously had outlined TNA's Kurt Angle as receiving two prescriptions for trenbolone, a veterinary steroid not cleared by the FDA for use by humans, and one for nandrolone (aka decadurabolin, a long-time popular steroid used by bodybuilders and wrestlers) between October 2004 and February 2005 from Dr. David Wilbirt of Arizona.

Angle claimed that he had done nothing illegal and was just recovering from his neck injury.

"I did not improperly receive prescriptions," Angle said in the statement. "It is well documented that in my career I have broken vertebrae in my neck on five occasions, and each time the course of treatment was under the care and supervision of my doctors.

However, Angle did not deny that his name was on the list of the doctors in question as receiving two prescriptions for trenbolone and one prescription for nandrolone between October 2004 and February 2005. The fact that trenbolone is not cleared for use by humans makes Angle a point-blank liar. Accordingly, he was not using a drug that is prescribed legitimately for use in recovering from a neck injury.

In a surreal moment, Angle...while giving the above defense that he needed steroids to rehabilitate his neck...spoke about why the operation by Dr. Jho that "saved his fighting and wrestling career". Well, Kurt, which is it? A revolutionary operation? Or drug use? Since you've refused to deny your actual use of trenbolone and nandrolone, why should a State Athletic Commission believe you are fit to compete in MMA?

Going beyond Angle's unique grasp on reality... and back to actual reality, Applied, a Mobile, AL, compounding pharmacy that was raided last fall by Federal authorities was also was listed in records as supplying HCG (used in-between steroid cycles to allow the body to produce testosterone) and stanozolol (aka Winstrol) that were sent to WWE star Eddie Guerrero in early 2005, as well as prescriptions for nandrolone and stanozolol to Oscar (Rey Mysterio, Jr.) Gutierrez.

Wilbert claimed in the Sports Illustrated article that "I'm not even practicing medicine now, so... I don't remember doing half the stuff you're talking about."

If those wrestlers and their prescriptions weren't enough... there was Randy Orton, who purchased more body-building drugs than the average Gold's Gym (from the same doctors whose names appeared on the prescriptions in major league outfielder Gary Matthews Jr.'s file). The list of body-building drugs included stanozolol, nandrolone, oxandrolone (Anavar) and testosterone; as well as anastrozole and Clomiphene citrate (to prevent gynomastia) from March 2004 and August 2004.

Adam (Edge) Copeland, and Shane Helms were reported as receiving HGH.

While Copeland and Helms didn't respond to a request for comment, the day after the report, Copeland did admit that the story was true on his MySpace blog:

"If you are reading this blog and it sees the light of day, than that means that an article has been written by a Sports Illustrated writer that states I received HGH from a pharmacy in 2003.

So, I'll cut right to the chase like I always do. It's true.

However, it's not exactly breaking, earth shattering news. It's actually old news. I admitted to this on national television in Canada in 2004 on Off The Record. When host Michael Lansberg asked me if I'd ever taken steroids, without consulting me before the show, I was perturbed, but answered without hesitation, "Yes, I have." In hindsight, I'm glad he asked the question. It got it out in the open and anyone who follows my career or supports me already knows this information about me. I won't try to defend my actions. I took them when coming back from my spinal fusion neck surgery when I was told by doctors that it would help the bones grow back around the screws and plate that were now inserted in my neck.

I'm not glorifying. I'm not condoning. Just telling you why I decided to take them. I took blood tests, consulted doctors, read up, studied them, got prescriptions, and decided to do it. That's pretty much it folks, but I wanted you to get my response straight from me and not through the words of another writer. Now as I'm sure most you can tell, I don't take steroids and haven't in a very long time, long before the WWE drug testing wellness policy was implemented. Hell, I barely see the inside of a gym anymore, let alone take performance enhancing substances!"

In all of the cases above the drugs were supplied by Applied, the Mobile, AL pharmacy that was raided by US authorities in the fall of 2006.

WWE Executive Vice President Gary Davis, has reponded to all press inquiries by pointing to the WWE Talent Wellness Program instituted in February 2006, after the death of Eddie Guerrero.

Davis stated to all media sources that: "The WWE policy 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."

Is this news any surprise? Hardly.

WWE's drug testing program, introduced with great fanfare after the death of Eddie Guerrero, with a few exceptions, has been largely cosmetic. Other than the suspension of Randy Orton, Rob Van Dam and Sabu (for marijuana...and in the latter cases for getting arrested with it).

This story, other than giving Vince McMahon a black eye right before Wrestlemania, will have little if any effect. Authorities have made very clear that they aren't interested in going after those named in these articles...just the suppliers.

As soon as this latest news hit CNN, Associated Press, ESPN, nd nearly every major news website, WWE performed a number of unannounced "wellness tests" at the ECW/Smackdown tapings...a total coincidence, I'm sure.

What WWE really thinks about the wellness policy and the effect those who've gotten off steroids was pretty clearly seen by the way that Chris Masters was ridiculed on air (and, it should be added, after a suspension for a Wellness Policy violation) for his deflated physique. Nice way to tell your talent to get off of steroids and HGH.

What you're really telling them is not to get caught.

Until next time...

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