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Thursday trash talk: The drug culture

By Zach Arnold | June 27, 2007

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Results from today’s K-1 World MAX show in Tokyo at Nippon Budokan.

Carter Williams tested positive for cocaine. Melvin Guillard now has some company with him.

Josh Barnett’s contract with DSE will end in October.

How big is the Chris Benoit story in terms of media attention? This big. It isn’t going away any time soon. The Japanese media is also paying close attention to the story.

Onto today’s headlines.

  1. UFC Junkie: Heavyweights, Light Heavyweights up next on TUF
  2. Sprawl ‘n Brawl: Are these people serious?
  3. Fightlinker: Former porn star calls out Kimo
  4. The Saipan Tribune: BJ Taisacan eyes rematch vs. ‘The Crank’ Frank Camacho
  5. The Gainesville Sun (FL): UFC President may consider Gainesville for future show
  6. The Ark City Traveler: Three local MMA fighters compete at Cotillion Ballroom in Wichita
  7. The Louisberg Herald (KS): UFC has polarizing effect on sports fans
  8. MMA on Tap: Phil Baroni out for 6-7 months
  9. Sportsnet (Canada): Little men, big entertainment
  10. On the Mat: Stephan Bonnar interview
  11. Whaledog: Jake Shields – what is the UFC waiting for?
  12. 411 Mania: An interview with Din Thomas
  13. The Northwest Herald: J’burg grad’s star (Clay Guida) on rise in UFC
  14. UFC Junkie: Drew Fickett out, Chris Lytle awaiting UFC 73 replacement
  15. MMA Weekly: A tool for the uninformed journalist

Now, we shift onto the latest Chris Benoit coverage…


Vince McMahon talks about Chris Benoit on NBC’s Today show (more here)

According to Bryan Alvarez on his Wednesday audio update, there are two new story developments: 1) Chris Nowinski asked the coroner if pathologists could take a look at Chris Benoit’s brain to see what kind of damage there is and the coroner rejected the request, 2) Chris Benoit’s mother and father have not been able to be found to be contacted. Meanwhile, Colin Cowherd has more to say about pro-wrestling and wrestling fans (audio here, here, and here). On The Dan Patrick Show, this topic was also addressed (audio here and here).

Cowherd claimed that he tried to bring someone on to talk about the issue on his show, but he couldn’t find anyone who wasn’t moronic to do it. “Where do you go to find someone, a message board?” One of the questionable statements made on the second Cowherd audio clip is retired NFL player Mark Schlereth talking about meeting Big John Studd and how Schlereth was convinced that Studd never took any drugs (calling him from ‘the old days’ before wrestlers went rampant on the juice).

Bill Goldberg and Dave Meltzer talk with Mauro Ranallo on Fight Network Radio about what changes need to take place in the professional wrestling industry.

Links

  1. The Charleston Post and Courier (Mike Mooneyham): Police seeking motives
  2. The New York Sun: Chris Benoit case uncovers a lack of understanding of steroids
  3. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Alex Marvez): Few knew the other side of WWE wrestler Chris Benoit
  4. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Wrestler, wife had argued over mentally disabled son, lawyer says
  5. The Palm Beach Post: Wrestler’s rampage hints at demons in profession
  6. Associated Content: Wrestling fans going to war with Nancy Grace
  7. The Ottawa Sun: It’s a dying shame – many of today’s wrestlers aren’t making it to old age
  8. The Baltimore Sun: Grim reality
  9. The Miami Herald (Jim Varsallone): Mainstream media misses mark again
  10. The New York Post: Wrestling steroid tragedy – ‘chokehold’ eyed in slay
  11. The Waterloo Record (Canada): If only wrestling could become even more fake
  12. The London Free Press (Canada): Ex-wrestler Jacques Rougeau says life on road tough
  13. The New York Daily News: The tragic family secret Benoit kept from the world
  14. The Edmonton Sun: A bad example? Former wrestler KC Houston says females being victimized
  15. The Orlando Sentinel: Ex-wrestler Marc Mero boils about WWE pressure-cooker
  16. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Hardly a hero – wrestler was a bully and a killer
  17. The Orlando Sentinel: Prosecutor – wrestler got steroids from Orlando firm
  18. SLAM! Sports: My rage over ‘roids
  19. Jim Ross: The Benoit Tragedy
  20. The Welland Tribune (Ontario, Canada): Smith Hart has trouble believing Benoit killed wife, son, then self
  21. The Fresno Bee: Rap sheet for ‘roids continues to grow

Topics: Media, MMA, Pro Elite, Pro-Wrestling, StrikeForce, UFC, WWE, Zach Arnold | 17 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

17 Responses to “Thursday trash talk: The drug culture”

  1. Mateo says:

    Do you think there are certain wrestlers in the WWE that are allowed to flunk drug tests because a doctor provides them with a prescription for the banned substances they are looking for in those tests?

    Do you think Benoit was even tested in April? Is the reason they are saying he tested clean that month a lie or a cover since there was actually no test performed?

    Wouldn’t it be more sensible for the WWE to not allow people to perform for them if they are being given prescriptions for banned substances? I do not think that is fair at all that even one wrestler was being allowed to perform for the WWE that had a prescription for steroids. Something does not seem right about this.

    If Benoit was being allowed to perform with a prescription for steroids, I would not surprised to find out there is a group of protected people within that company with similiar prescriptions. Those people might not go on to kill themselves, but it not fair and it makes the entire steroid policy that the WWE has into a crooked crock of shit.

  2. chairibofjustice says:

    One thing that bothers me about Cowherd and Schlereth talking about drugs is the fact they have totally overlooked the Pittsburgh Steelers. There’s been so many rumors and allegations about steroids and this franchise it’s not even funny. Since 2000 that franchise has had 18 former players die, and they were all around the ages of 33 and 58. Of course don’t forget the fact one of their team doctors was implicated in that florida internet pharmacy fiasco a while back. And lest we forget the late Lyle Alzado as well…

    I’m just wondering what the death rate is with the professional body builders.

    Oh let us not forget defensive player of the year Shawn Merriman.

  3. remy says:

    Allowed to flunk drug tests? If the WWE tests its fighters, then it is only to ensure that they are, in fact, using steroids. The WWE has been accused before of actually pressuring its wrestlers to juice.

  4. ilostmydog says:

    Don’t forget Ricco Rodriguez. He’s a valuable member of ‘Team Cocaine.’

  5. Liger05 says:

    The wellness policy in the WWE became a joke. Yes people were being tested and some found to be on the juice. However they were just getting fined and no more suspensions. I think those who were positive probably never minded paying a fine as they could still be on tv and still make there money. I dont even watch the WWE as I hate that style of pro-wrestling but when I heard about the policy I initially tuned in to see if guys were getting smaller. At the beginning they were but after 3 months I saw guys looking just as jacked as before and like I suspected there wellness policy meant jack. Things will never change until the WWE gets away from always pushing the big huge guys. Vince mcmahon isnt sticking the needle in but if the talent see that its the big guys they get the push then they will always be pressured into getting on the gas. I heard Bryan Alverez say that even when Beniot was injured with a serious neck injury he still never got off the juice as he was so worried about shrinking and then having to gain the weight again.

  6. Ivan Trembow says:

    “If Benoit was being allowed to perform with a prescription for steroids, I would not surprised to find out there is a group of protected people within that company with similiar prescriptions.”

    That is their actual policy. WWE’s actual policy, unlike any other comparable company, is that you can test positive for all the steroids you want if you have a doctor’s prescription (and any pro wrestler or famous professional athlete can get cooperative doctors to prescribe steroids for them).

    The only way that one “fails” a WWE drug test is to both A) Have ridiculously high levels of banned substances, and B) Not be able to produce a prescription for it.

    The same goes for large amounts of prescription painkillers, as well as “downers” to be able to fall asleep at night and “uppers” to be able to get up in the morning to make it the next scheduled show… if you have a prescription (easily-attainable), you can test positive for whatever you want. It is a complete sham of a policy.

  7. Ivan Trembow says:

    Also, Liger05 is correct about the fines instead of suspensions if you do actually “fail” a WWE drug test (which would mean you’d have to meet both of the criteria listed in my previous post).

    Right after Eddie Guerrero died in November 2005, WWE announced that once the policy went into effect (which had to be after WrestleMania in April 2006 for the exact reason that you might think), wrestlers would be suspended on the first offense, forced to go to rehab on the second offense, and fired on the third offense.

    It didn’t take very long for this policy to change when numerous wrestlers were suspended and it was inconvenient for WWE.

    Now, although they can still fire you at any time if they don’t want to keep employing you for any reason, the policy is that if a wrestler fails a WWE drug test, they are “suspended” in the sense that their pay is suspended, but they don’t stop working.

    So if you test positive for large amounts of steroids or a grossly elevated T/E ratio and can’t produce a prescription and you get “suspended” for 30 days, what that actually means is that you keep working just like nothing ever happened… you simply don’t get paid for 30 days. Same goes for a 60-day suspension: You would simply work full-time without pay for 60 days.

    The third offense was also changed to be at WWE’s “discretion” so that a third offense does not automatically mean that you’re fired or even that you have to go to rehab. In addition, none of the drug test failures and quasi-suspensions are ever publicly disclosed by WWE.

  8. MJC_123 says:

    A fantastic article written in U.K magazine “Fighting Spirit” which deals with MMA and Pro-Wrestling has a piece this month (prior to Benoit family deaths) about Vince’s obsession with monsters and the pressure on wrestlers to hit the roids and expand.

    It charts the problem back to Hulk Hogan and the 80’s and the gargantuan figures that have carried the brand since then. Basically to get to the top of the game you have to expand, shots of Triple H in 1995 and in 2005 show clear as day the need for one to be a megalith to be at the top of the pile.

    Many will note about Rey Mysterio’s rise a year or two but even in his case his torso is so enlarged its no wonder his knees keep giving in…

    I think regardless of what comes out eventually as the motive for the Benoit murder-suicide, the media expression and repetetive use of “ROID RAGE” will one would all hope ensure WWE begin to look after their workers. As has been the case before however its a double edged sword:

    1) Vince has proven time and time again he turns a blind eye or implements blanket programs to mask real concerns such as the “wellness policy”
    2) Due to the competitive nature of pro-wrestling and the domination over it by the WWE, workers need to tow the company line and if bigger is better then they best bulk up as once you cross the boss, you don’t come back…..(unless your Hulk Hogan)

  9. Ivan Trembow says:

    I was just about to post the Today Show link but you already did. If anyone has the video URL or a basic summary of Linda McMahon’s appearance on Good Morning America from Thursday morning, please post it.

  10. Ultimo Santa says:

    Having Batista, John Cena and Bobby Lashley all holding world titles simultaniously was a great way for Vince McMahon and the WWE to show everyone that their ‘Wellness Policy’ was in full effect.

    It would actually be a funny joke…if people weren’t dying.

  11. klown says:

    Pro-wrestling should be strictly regulated and performers should have a union to protect their rights, as should athletes in every sport, and workers in every industry.

  12. […] of gloves: FightOpinion.com) This entry is filed under Dana White, UFC Host Cities. You can follow any responses to this […]

  13. Mike says:

    Re: The MMA Weekly piece for uninformed journalists. Pieces like this are why MMA Weekly will never live up to its potential. A piece that actually gave instructive insight for a novice reporter would have been greatly helpful to countering negative MMA reporting. But instead, they choose to spend paragraph after paragraph insulting reporters and their livelihood. What reporter is going to bother even getting to the part where you get to the advice after reading all that childish snarky garbage? Maybe a first-time MMA reporter comes on the site with an open mind actually looking for insight, and stumbles on that. MMAWeekly’s approach to this will only solidify any preconceived negative stereotypes about MMA fans to mainstream reporters.

  14. Glad to see the mention Zach, much appreciated. If you’re interested, we also have a Tito Ortiz interview we just posted as well. 🙂

    http://www.411mania.com/MMA/columns/56401

    I swear I’ll stop my shameless plugging from now on, just wanted to give a heads up.

  15. Zack says:

    It feels like 1991 all over.

  16. The tito interview is good, finally he’s growing some balls and saying he’s considering other promotions.

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