WWE Superstar Roman Reigns Suspended For Drug Violation

By McCarton Ackerman 06/24/16

The 31-year-old is a former three-time WWE World Heavyweight champion and real-life cousin of WWE wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

WWE Superstar Roman Reigns Suspended For Drug Violation
Photo via Megan Elice Meadows/WikiCommons

Even the world of sports entertainment is cracking down on illegal substances. WWE superstar Roman Reigns has been suspended by the company for 30 days for violating its talent wellness policy.

The WWE announced the suspension on Tuesday, June 21, two days after Reigns (born Joseph Anoa`i) lost a WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at the “Money in the Bank” pay-per-view event. It was his first violation of the policy, but it’s unclear when it occurred or what substance was used. The 31-year-old, a three-time WWE World Heavyweight champion and real-life cousin of WWE wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, is one of the most high-profile wrestlers that the company has ever suspended for drug use.

“I apologize to my family, friends and fans for my mistake in violating WWE’s wellness policy,” tweeted Reigns on Tuesday. “No excuses. I own it.” However, his suspension will be lifted in time for another shot at the WWE title on July 24.

The WWE created its wellness policy in 2006 and made headlines the following year with a company-wide steroid purge. In August 2007, an investigation into the Orlando-based Signature Pharmacy revealed 14 WWE superstars who were linked to illegal steroids, 10 of whom were still with the company. WWE suspended all of them immediately and most were written off in a single episode of Monday Night Raw, which forced them to take part in shocking losses and embarrassing backstage segments, according to Yahoo.

Ten years ago, another Money in the Bank participant was also suspended for 30 days due to illegal drug use. Reigning WWE and ECW title holder Rob Van Dam was forced to drop both belts after his drug-related arrest in July 2006. Traveling with fellow wrestler Sabu, police pulled their vehicle over and found 18 grams of weed and five Vicodin pills.

The company’s most high-profile drug arrest came in 1987, when Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Iron Sheik were arrested at a traffic stop for cocaine and marijuana possession. Because the WWE still operated under the pretense, during that time, that all the matches were real, fans were outraged that the anti-American Sheik was traveling with the American flag-waving Duggan. Both wrestlers were fired, but would eventually return to the company, known as WWF at the time. The Iron Sheik was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005.

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.