WWE Suspends 10 of Its Top Wrestlers

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," August 30, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: A short time ago, a mass WWE smackdown. Ten professional wrestlers just learned their schedules are now free, and not for particularly good reasons. They have been suspended under their WWE's wellness policy. Is this more fall-out from Chris Benoit's double murder-suicides?

Jerry McDevitt is the lawyer for World Wrestling Entertainment. He joins us in Pittsburgh. Jerry, what's the story on these 10 suspension notices? Who got them and why?

JERRY MCDEVITT, WWE ATTORNEY: Well, a couple weeks ago, Greta, we met with District Attorney David Soares (ph), who as you may know, has been running an investigation out of Albany of Signature Pharmacy and some of these so-called wellness clinics that operate largely down in Florida. He has been running meetings with the NFL, the NBA, all the major sports leagues, where he has been sharing with the leagues the various information about the athletes in these leagues that have been purchasing drugs through this Signature Pharmacy.

He asked us whether, if they shared the information they had with us about WWE talent who had purchased drugs from Signature Pharmacy, whether the WWE would act on it. We told him of course we would, if we could confirm the information. They provided to us the information. We confirmed the information. And today, Mr. McMahon indicted to the 10 people involved that they would be suspended under the drug policy for the violations that they did.

VAN SUSTEREN: Suspended with pay or without pay?

MCDEVITT: It's without pay. The first 30 days — or the first suspension is for 30 days. The second is 60. My understanding is for nine of them, it's the first violation, and for one, it's the second violation.

VAN SUSTEREN: And so then after the 30 days, they go back to work. I mean, is the pay scale varied, or they all going to lose about the same amount of money?

MCDEVITT: It depends largely on what their salary is. The higher paid you are, the more money you lose.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Now, this investigation — is it being done out of Albany area because the Signature Pharmacy is in the Albany district? Is that why this DA is doing this?

MCDEVITT: My understanding, Greta, is they've documented some sales into Albany, which gave them more or less jurisdiction. They have recently taken pleas from two of the doctors that were involved in this. One was a woman by the name of Claire Godfrey (ph), who I believe used to be a medical consultant to FOX News, as a matter of fact. She entered a plea of guilty, and they are going after the doctors on the supply end of this whole thing. And we commend them for it. We wish to cooperate with them. We think these kind of clinics and whatnot are a big part of the problem out there.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, so you got 10 names from the DA. Did you get any more names than 10 for the WWE?

MCDEVITT: Yes, I think there's two more that have to be interviewed. There may be two more suspended tomorrow, depending on some facts we have yet to confirm.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why aren't they being publicly named?

MCDEVITT: We have changed the policy to do that. Up until this point, Greta, we have not been disclosing public names. Today it was also announced, but on November the 1st — it's a fair notice issue to us — the talent were told that from now on, if you do test negative (SIC) or you violate the wellness policy, you will be publicly identified. And we do that in the belief it will give a greater transparency to the program, and hopefully, operate as a deterrence for anybody who wishes to engage in this kind of activity.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, so WWE has suspended 10. Do you have any reason to believe that besides those being identified to WWE, that athletes are identified to major league baseball, basketball and the NFL?

MCDEVITT: Well, yes. As a matter of fact, to give you some extent that this is not a problem that's unique to the WWE, we're also told that Signature Pharmacy was making sales to policemen and firemen and whatnot. Today when I was on the phone with one of District Attorney Soares's investigators, I asked him, What's the NFL going to do? And he indicated that the NFL was going to be coming out with an announcement in the next couple of days. Beyond that, I don't really know. I know they have been dealing with NFL security and providing them the same names.

And my suspicion, Greta, is that what you're going to find when this whole thing is told is that the drug of choice, if you will, for any athlete who wants to avoid a drug detection policy is human growth hormone, which there is no test for. And it's a problem that all leagues have. It's a problem we have. It's a problem anybody has that's engaged in drug testing. There's no scientific method to detect when an athlete takes human growth hormone and it's...

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, we'll be watching what happens out of Albany and what happens with the major sports in the next few days. Jerry, as always, thank you.

MCDEVITT: Thank you, Greta.

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