AS I SEE IT 7/30: A chicken in Fox's house, plus WWE and Congress

Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

Ironic given all the loud and often inaccurate commentary by Bill O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera regarding the Benoit family tragedy is the news last Wednesday that a Fox News medical correspondent pled guilty in Albany County (NY) District court to criminal diversion of prescription medicines.

In a plea deal that will keep her out of prison, Claire Godfrey, who investigators say sold performance-enhancing drugs to two World Wrestling Entertainment athletes, has agreed to cooperate with Albany District Attorney David Soares' ongoing steroids investigation. Godfrey had been indicted on 10 counts, and was facing up to 25 years in prison; as well as still possibly facing the loss of her Florida medical license.

She wrote illegal prescriptions worth more than $1.3 million for steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs last year for scores of patients - including two active WWE wrestlers (NOT including Chris Benoit) and bodybuilder Victor Martinez without examining them, according to the New York Daily News .

Asked for comment, WWE's Gary Davis said "We applaud the efforts of government officials to shut down the illegal use of steroids and those doctors who illegally prescribe them."

We'll see what Fox has to say about this one.

We'll see how much WWE really believes what Gary Davis said after what happened next.

This past Friday, World Wrestling Entertainment, received a letter from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (the House Committee that has recently investigated steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs in baseball and other professional sports. The Committee is seeing fit to demand records from WWE "as part of the Committee's on-going investigations into the illegal use of steroids and other drugs in sports"; specifically WWE records on the WWE Wellness Policy and drug testing, including:

"1. A complete copy of the current drug testing policy, as well as each drug testing policy that has been in place since WWE or its predecessor organization, the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), first began testing for performance-enhancing drugs. The information provided should include, but not be limited to:

a. The list of drugs covered by the policies;
b. The entities responsible for testing and administration of the program;
c. The testing schedule, including the number of tests conducted annually, the notice provided to wrestlers prior to testing, and the methodology used for random testing;
d. The protocols that are followed after a positive test;
e. The penalties for wrestlers who test positive;
f. The adjudication process for wrestlers who test positive; and
g. The protocol for therapeutic use exemptions for WWE wrestlers.

2. For each drug policy provided in response to request (1), all internal documents regarding the formulation of policy by the WWE or the WWF.

3. Summary information on the results of testing for performance-enhancing drugs for each year a policy was in effect. The Committee is requesting summary information in response to request (3), and does not require identification of individual wrestlers. Please include information on:

a. The number of tests conducted each year;
b. The number of wrestlers tested each year;
c. The number of positive results;
d. The number of positive results for each specific drug;
e. The number of positive tests for which wrestlers were penalized, and the penalties assessed; and
f. The number of positive tests for which wrestlers received therapeutic use exemptions or for which no penalty was assessed.

4. Results of any investigations prepared by or for the WWE or the WWF regarding the deaths, injuries, or illnesses of current or former professional wrestlers that may have been related to the use of steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs.

5. Other internal WWE or WWF documents related to deaths, injuries, or illnesses of current or former professional wrestlers that may have been related to the use of steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs.

6. All communications between the WWE or the WWF and outside entities, including communications with health professionals or law enforcement authorities, regarding allegations of drug use by wrestlers.

We ask that you provide this information to the Committee by August 24, 2007.

The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is the principal oversight committee in the House of Representatives and has broad oversight jurisdiction as set forth in House Rule X. An attachment to this letter provides additional information about how to respond to the Committee's request.

If you have any questions regarding this letter, please contact Brian Cohen of the majority staff at (202) 225-5051 or Susie Schulte of the minority staff at (202) 225-5074


Henry A. Waxman, Chairman
Tom Davis, Ranking Minority Member

It should also be noted that The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is involved with hearing and investigations including violations of the Presidential Records Acts, White House politicization of climate change, documents relating the manipulation of the friendly fire death of Pat Tillman, White House emails, and hearings on FEMA preparedness. One would think they'd have enough to do already without grandstanding on this issue.

Speaking of the discussion that I've had regarding Wellness Programs and/or Employee Assistance Programs, I wanted to give an example of the Wellness Program offered by the company I work for:

" Full-time employees also have access to expert guidance and support.

A variety of benefits is offered through COMPSYCH, an online resource specializing in hundreds of topics, including Health & Wellness, Family/Relationships, Work/Education, and Money/Investments--to name a few! It also offers live chats, informational video and audio clips, the latest news, and many more features--24 hours a day to help you and your family.

One of the many family resource benefits offered includes child care and elder care referral services as well as discounts. You will find everything from child care that suits your child’s important needs, to informative child safety articles, to essential tips on financing care. For those in need of elder care solutions, this service provides diverse assistance, from how to find care, to information on the types of care available, to financial and legal issues.

Until next time...

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