In a letter released today by Representatives Henry Waxman of California and Tom Davis of Virginia — respectively, the chair and ranking minority member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform — the committee asks World Wrestling Entertainment to provide complete information on the company’s drug-testing policies and procedures.
The Waxman-Davis letter asks WWE to respond in full by August 24. The letter can be viewed at http://muchnick.net/WaxmanLetter.pdf.
The letter opens by noting that last month’s murder-suicide of wrestler Chris Benoit and his family led to reports of widespread abuse of steroids and other drugs by pro wrestlers. “These allegations — which include first-hand reports of steroid use by prominent former wrestlers — have swirled around the WWE for over a decade. Investigations by journalists have described a culture of performance-enhancing drug use in professional wrestling, high fatality rates among young professional wrestlers, and an inability or unwillingness of WWE to address these problems.”
Waxman and Davis are the second and third members of Congress to seek an investigation of drugs in wrestling. Earlier Representative Cliff Stearns, a Florida Republican, had announced that he would be seeking fall hearings on the subject by the Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The Waxman-Davis initiative, however, has added significance both because it is bipartisan and because it is by the congressional committee that already has held hearings on steroids in major league baseball.
Thus, a congressional probe of wrestling, about which there has been much speculation, is now an actuality.