Although it is not a perfect system, WWE’s wellness policy is working and with all the improvements that have been made to the policy in recent years it will continue to do so. The wellness policy not only tests for drug use, but also for underlying health problems. Wrestlers who use drugs are not only being caught and punished, but now are also being offered rehab to help them get clean and stay clean.
WWE has had a lot of bad press over the last few years in regards to drug use within the company, even although there has been a drug testing policy in the company for years and the current wellness policy, that tests for a lot more than illegal drugs, being in place since 2006. The wellness policy is really being put to the test at the moment; because of this WWE really needs to make sure that it is working, and continues to work for the long term.
Several wrestlers have been suspended since the policy was first enforced in 2006; many of the early suspensions were for steroids or other performance enhancing drugs. The policy states that on a first violation of the policy a wrestler is suspended for thirty days, on a second violation they are suspended for sixty days and on a third violation their contract with the company is terminated.
Eleven wrestlers were suspended at the same time back in October 2007 due to them being caught buying drugs from an online pharmacy, while it was not stated what they had purchased, buying anything from an online pharmacy is against the rules of the wellness policy. Suspending eleven wrestlers at the same time showed the media and everyone else that the policy does work and is being taken seriously, especially as some of these wrestlers were involved in major storylines at the time.
The wellness policy also monitors some health issues, such as cardiac function and a while back some wrestlers were taken off the road due to health problems that showed up in their tests. This is another great thing about the policy; it can find health problems that the wrestlers themselves might not be aware of allowing them to have treatment before anything becomes serious. This aspect of the policy shows that WWE is looking out for the general health and well-being of their wrestlers.
The fact that WWE is now making the names of wrestlers suspended under the policy public is another step in the right direction. By doing this, they are letting the media and everyone else know that they are enforcing the policy and also letting the wrestlers know that they have no problem in telling everyone that they have been caught doing whatever they have been caught doing, this is doing nothing but encouraging the wrestlers to stay clean and healthy.
Wrestlers who use drugs are being caught and suspended for violating the wellness policy and their names are being made public. Wrestlers who are thought to be abusing alcohol are being given help and are suspended or released if they refuse this help, their general health is also being monitored giving them the chance to get any health issues sorted out quickly. Although the wellness policy has its flaws, it would seem to be working well overall; it is catching people who use drugs, improving the health of wrestlers and the companies image as a whole.