Top WWE Names Emerge In Doping Scandal
The WWE was rocked again today, after several of wrestling's top names emerged in the Albany district attorney's probe into a widespread Internet doping scandal. The wrestling conglomerate based in Stamford announced that it will suspend 10 of its biggest stars for violation of its wellness policy. In a list obtained by reporters, top wrestlers Randy Orton, Charles Haas, Jr., Adam "Edge" Copeland, Robert "Booker T" Huffman, Shane Helms, Mike Bucci, Anthony Carelli, John "Johnny Nitro" Hennigan, Darren "William Regal" Matthews, Ken "Mr. Kennedy" Anderson, Eddie "Umaga" Fatu, Shoichi Funaki and Chavo Guerrero were all identified as clients of Signature Pharmacy in Orlando, the site raided by Albany County and Florida law enforcement agencies in February for distributing steroids and other prescription drugs to clients who had not been examined by doctors. The investigation is part of a probe into illegal Internet drug distribution by Albany D.A. David Soares. It is unclear at this time which of these wrestlers will be suspended by the WWE.The WWE said in a statement that it issued suspension notices based on independent information received from the Albany D.A. The WWE's announcement comes as members of Congress prepare to investigate steroid use in professional wrestling. Two of its recently deceased stars - Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero - also received steroids and other drugs from Signature, as prescribed by Florida physician Gary Brandwein, who has pleaded not guilty to criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal diversion of prescription drugs. Benoit murdered his wife and son before killing himself in June and Guerrero died in a Minneapolis hotel in 2005 from heart disease. Guerrero received the steroids testosterone and nandrolone, along with the estrogen-blocker anastozole, a drug commonly taken by men on steroids to prevent developing breast tissue, Nov. 2, 2005, just 11 days before he died of heart disease. Guerrero's nephew, Chavo Guerrero, found Guerrero unconscious in the hotel room. Benoit received steroids from Signature, based on a Brandwein prescription, in February, 2006. The WWE stars are among the first athletes to face discipline for their part in the nationwide Signature Pharmacy scandal, the Internet steroid ring that has already led to guilty pleas from nine doctors, anti-aging clinic owners and operators. Law enforcement sources have said they expect the names of numerous NFL and Major League Baseball athletes to emerge as well.