The WWE announced this week that one of its top female wrestlers, Paige, has been suspended for 60 days, following a second wellness policy violation.
Paige even claimed that she had a doctor's note.
At the same time, Brock Lesnar, one of the WWE’s star attractions, is facing discipline from the Nevada Athletic Commission for failing multiple performance enhancement drug tests leading up to the night of UFC 200. Lesnar tested positive for estrogen blocker clomiphene, which is sometimes taken after coming off a cycle of steroids.
While Paige’s failures have been highly publicized, the WWE has essentially ignored Lesnar's alleged drug test failures in the UFC. The WWE, in fact, continues to heavily promote Lesnar.
Lesnar’s situation is different. He never failed a drug test in the WWE, because as a part-time performer, he is exempt. Lesnar recently moved to delay his discipline hearing, likely giving him time to prepare a defense. He has been temporarily suspended in the meantime.
Many fighters who have tested positive for performance enhancement drugs have claimed they failed because of tainted supplements or consuming tainted meat.
Paige has alluded to failing the test because of a medical prescription. Her boyfriend, Alberto Del Rio, also recently failed a wellness policy test, and he later left the WWE.
How is it that Lesnar was never flagged by the WWE in the past four years, yet was flagged by USADA after just one fight? The WWE’s wellness policy doesn’t apply to Lesnar because he is considered “part-time” talent. Lesnar works about 25 dates a year, which in the traveling world of professional wrestling, is more like quarter-time.
Lesnar appears at select PPVs and makes a few televised and non-televised live event appearances throughout the year. Although the WWE tests for steroids and other illegal drugs, it does so not necessarily to punish the talent, but to keep them healthy. The outcomes of WWE matches may be predetermined, but drug testing is still important because the WWE wants its stars to be healthy role models for the children they market their product to.
The WWE tests for the following drugs:
- chloroxomesterone (dehydrochlormethyltestosterone)
- methandienone (methandrostenolone)
- mibol erone
The WWE also tests for "amphetamine, methamphetamine, Ecstasy (MDMA), Eve (MDEA), MDA, PMA, Phentermine, other amphetamine derivatives, and related compounds," according to its Wellness Policy.
Several years ago, beloved professional wrestler Eddie Guerrero died from a heart attack, an unexpected event that prompted the WWE to launch serious drug testing. During the big boom period of the WWE in the late-1990s, several high profile wrestlers died.
The WWE never acknowledged Lesnar’s failed USADA test, except during a storyline feud when Lesnar’s Summerslam opponent, Randy Orton, said he could beat Lesnar “no enhancement needed.”
Lesnar proceeded to slice open Orton’s head when they wrestled, delivering a series of wicked elbows that cut Orton open, forcing the ending of the match.
Lesnar's future is unclear in the UFC. He faces up to a two-year suspension, but if it is anything less than that, he may fight again. In the WWE, he's getting ready to wrestle Bill Goldberg, in a match that will almost certainly do Ironman numbers.