Frequently Asked Questions
Does WWE have a drug testing program?
Yes. WWE's Substance Abuse and Drug Testing policy was designed by Aegis Sciences Corporation and is run 100% independently of WWE.
Who oversees and administers the Talent Wellness Program?
The Talent Wellness Program is supervised by WWE Medical Director, Dr. Joseph Maroon. Dr. Maroon is a board certified Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh. Honored as one of America’s Best Neurosurgeons for 8 consecutive years, he has published 4 books, has written more than 250 papers and 40 book chapters (many on sports medicine), and has been the Team Neurosurgeon for the Pittsburgh Steelers for more than 25 years.
The Substance Abuse and Drug Testing policy is independently administered by Dr. David L. Black, Ph.D., D-ABFT, FAIC, of Aegis Sciences Corporation, Nashville, Tennessee. Aegis Sciences Corporation is a full service forensic sciences company providing toxicology and consulting services to sports organizations, medical examiner systems, crime laboratories, physicians, corporations and other organizations throughout the world. Aegis is the largest independent sports doping laboratory in the U.S., and is certified by the United States Department of Health and Human Services – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and other certifying agencies.
How many times a year do you test WWE Talent?
The program requires random testing of all WWE Talent a minimum of four times a year. The program is independently administered by Aegis Sciences Corporation..
What are the penalties for a positive test?
WWE has a three strike system. The first strike is a 30 day suspension without pay. The second strike is a 60 day suspension without pay. The third strike is termination of WWE Talent’s contract. The policy states that a WWE Talent who tests positive and receives a strike is subject to follow up testing.
How often is a WWE Talent tested after testing positive and receiving a strike?
After a WWE Talent tests positive and receives a strike, that WWE Talent is tested a minimum of 12 times for a period of one year.
Does a WWE Talent who leaves WWE with a strike or strikes retain those infractions if they return to WWE?
Any WWE talent who leaves the WWE for any reason with a first or second violation on his/her record will maintain those strikes if he/she returns to the WWE.
Is a WWE Talent who is terminated for a third strike able to return to the WWE?
A WWE Talent who is terminated by the WWE for a third violation will be prohibited from returning to the WWE for at least one year. Before a possible return, the WWE Talent must test negative for all prohibited substances under the Policy during a pre-contract screening. If they pass the pre-contract screening and are approved to return, the WWE Talent must undergo mandatory unannounced testing for at least one year after the execution of the new contract. The WWE Talent will return with two strikes on his/her record.
Does WWE announce WWE Talent that have been suspended under the Talent Wellness Program?
Yes. It is WWE policy to publicly release any suspensions under this program, as well as the names of WWE Talent who are being suspended.
How does WWE test for concussions and protect its performers from head trauma?
Since December 2008, WWE has taken significant steps in the area of head trauma. Under WWE's Talent Wellness Program, all performers undergo mandatory tests of brain function, including memory, processing speed and reaction time. Monitoring and analysis are done through the ImPACT Concussion Management Program, which is used by the NFL, NHL, MLB, MLS, US Olympic Training Center and in more than 400 colleges and 2,000 high schools. If a WWE performer shows symptoms of a concussion or has suffered a concussion, then that WWE performer will not be cleared for a return to wrestling until he/she passes an ImPACT test and is cleared clinically by a certified physician.
Does WWE test for marijuana?
Yes. In the event of any positive test for marijuana, a WWE Talent shall be fined $2,500 per positive test.
Does WWE allow for Therapeutic Usage Exemptions (TUE)?
The Substance Abuse and Drug Testing Policy itself does not make reference to TUEs. However, if a WWE Talent has a valid prescription from a licensed and treating physician for a medical condition, and the medical need is verified after an investigation by the Medical Director and subsequent consultation with the Program Administrator, the WWE Talent may use that prescribed drug, subject to follow-up care and monitoring, in accordance with the Policy. Currently 4% of WWE Talent have a TUE.
How comprehensive is the Talent Wellness Program?
The Talent Wellness Program is considered to be as good as the testing programs initiated by major sports leagues, government agencies and corporations. The WWE program is unique in the entertainment industry.
What are you doing to address the health and well-being of WWE Talent?
WWE is committed to doing everything it can to help WWE Talent of today lead healthier lives than WWE Talent of past generations. The company has worked hard to improve its Talent Wellness Program in an effort to better support WWE Talent and help them make the right lifestyle decisions. The Talent Wellness Program calls for regular cardiovascular, ImPACT™ testing, annual physicals, medical referrals and blood screening of WWE Talent, as well as random drug testing.
Do you provide any assistance to former talent?
WWE is committed to assisting former WWE Talent in receiving appropriate drug and alcohol assistance and has expanded this offer to include any individuals who had ever performed under contract to WWE during their careers. Letters to former talent are sent out annually offering this assistance.
How many wrestlers have died while under contract with the WWE?
Since the formation of the company in 1982, five wrestlers have passed away while under contract with WWE. According to coroner reports, one individual died by accident, one by suicide and three by heart disease. Other deceased wrestlers referred to in various reports were either not affiliated with WWE at all or performed for other wrestling organizations after their contract with WWE expired.