World Wrestling Entertainment Suspends 10 Wrestlers

World Wrestling Entertainment gave the smackdown to 10 of its wrestlers after a prosecutor's office shared information about their names turning up on customer lists for a Florida pharmacy under investigation for the illegal distribution of drugs.

The Stamford, Conn.-based WWE suspended the wrestlers Thursday for violations of a policy that tests for steroids and other drugs.

"We were provided some independent information from the investigation in Albany County. Based on that information, we suspended 10 of our performers," Gary Davis, a spokesman for WWE, told

More suspensions are possible, Davis added. The company hasn't released the names of suspended wrestlers but starting Nov. 1, the names will be made public.

Davis would not say how long the suspensions are for, but under a WWE wellness policy began in February 2006 that bans the non-medical use of prescriptions and performance-enhancing drugs, a wrestler faces a 30-day suspension without pay for a first violation, a 60-day suspension for a second violation and firing for a third violation.

Pro wrestler Chris Benoit, who killed his family before hanging himself in June, was a client of Signature Pharmacy in Orlando, Fla. Benoit had a steroid and other drugs in his system at the time of his death, according to investigators.

Click here to read about the suspensions on WWE's Web site.

The Albany County District Attorney's Office, New York State Health Department, Orlando Bureau of Investigation and the Florida Attorney General launched "Operation 'Which Doctor' " into Signature Pharmacy and a nationwide ring of steroid distribution.

Click here to read more about Operation 'Which Doctor.'

The pharmacy was shipping illegal steroids into Albany County, Heather Orth, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office, told The office reviewed records affiliated with the pharmacy and so far, have charged about 24 people with criminal charges in connection to the pharmacy and its illegal distribution, Orth said.

Nine people, including doctors, pharmacists or people associated with clinics, pleaded guilty so far, Orth said. Signature's owners have pleaded not guilty.

"We are not interested in the athletes," Orth said, adding that no users have faced criminal charges. "The athletes are secondary to our primary focus of taking down Signature Pharmacy."

P. David Soares, district attorney for Albany County, thanked the WWE for helping in their investigation.

"We appreciate the continued cooperation of World Wrestling Entertainment in our ongoing investigation into Signature Pharmacy and their distribution network," Soares said in a statement.

The Benoit case prompted the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to ask WWE to turn over any information it has on steroid and drug abuse in pro wrestling. The committee has not yet scheduled a hearing on the case.

WWE has responded to congressional committees requesting information but they have not been approached about testifying before lawmakers in possible hearings, Davis said.