WWE announced Tuesday they have suspended performer Evan Bourne for 30 days effective immediately for his first violation of the company’s Talent Wellness Program.
WWE issued a press release stating: “In accordance with its Talent Wellness Program, WWE has suspended Matthew Korklan (Evan Bourne) for 30 days effective immediately for his first violation of the company’s policy.”
Bourne’s suspension was not unexpected since he was summoned to a meeting with WWE officials at Monday’s Raw SuperShow in Atlanta, Georgia regarding a recent violation of their Substance Abuse and Drug Testing Policy (a component of the Talent Wellness Program), which according to corporate.wwe.com, “prohibits the use of drugs by talent for other than a legitimate medical purpose pursuant to a valid prescription from a licensed and treating physician.”
WWE employees were surprised he and Kofi Kingston didn’t lose the Tag Team Championship on Raw. The duo is now expected to drop the titles at tonight’s SmackDown in Greenville, North Carolina since his suspension has been publicly announced.
Many WWE performers believe the recent rash of suspensions is tied to Talent Wellness Program administers cracking down on usage of synthetic cannabis, which was added to the banned substances list in June. Sold under the brand names K2 and Spice, the substance was banned for at least a year effective March 1, 2011 by the Drug Enforcement Administration so they could study its effects more thoroughly and decide whether a permanent ban is necessary.
Bourne is the third WWE performer to be suspended in the past month, following Darren Young and Heath Slater.