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Randy Orton’s WWE Suspension History – Is His Latest Wellness Strike His Third?

WWE announced Wednesday that Randy Orton has been suspended for 60 days for his second violation of the company’s Talent Wellness Program. Though it is his third suspension by the organization, it is only his second suspension to be classified as a Talent Wellness Program infraction.

Orton was first suspended by the organization on April 3, 2006—for 60 days—for “unprofessional conduct,” which did not count as a Wellness Program violation. He smoked marijuana backstage at the March 28, 2006 SmackDown taping, which company employee Bruce Prichard discovered and reported to management. Orton addressed the matter during an interview published in the September 2006 issue of WWE Magazine.

When asked why he “always acting like such an ass,” Orton stated, “My problems came to a head when I decided to smoke a joint and someone smelled it and stooged me off. You know who you are, so if you’re reading this, thanks. But I also had a few outbursts of anger on the road. I get loud and verbally abusive. But I’ve nipped that part of me in the bud. I attended an anger management clinic in Atlanta. It cost 15 grand for a four-week stay. I had to live down there on the campus. The first week I was there, I was like, OK, I’ll do what I have to do to get out of here.” But then I started to realize, wow, I was wrong in a lot of these situations. I just got this reputation of being hard to work with, being a dick and everything in the book. But the truth is, I don’t flip out anymore.”

On August 30, 2007, WWE suspended eleven wrestlers (Booker T, Charlie Haas, Chavo Guerrero, Chris Masters, Edge, Funaki, Gregory Helms, John Morrison, Mr. Kennedy, Umaga and William Regal) based on information provided by the Albany, New York, District Attorney’s Office concerning contracted talent using online pharmaceutical outlet Signature Pharmacy to obtain performance-enhancing drugs and prescription drugs to clients who had not been examined by doctors. Both Sports Illustrated (article) and the Daily News of New York City (article) independently named Orton as a client of the Orlando based pharmacy, which Albany County and Florida law enforcement agencies raided in February 2007. Orton received somatropin, nandrolone, stanozolol between September 2004 and February 2007, which occurred after the “no drugs from online sources” rule was instituted in the Talent Wellness Program. However, he was the lone contracted performer not to be suspended by WWE. Wrestling Observer editor Dave Meltzer reported that WWE took no action against Orton because he had already been suspended in August 2006 (for failing a drug test for a steroid which he not have a prescription for), resulting in double jeopardy. The ruling appeared suspect since Orton continued to receive pharmaceuticals following the suspension. Dr. David L. Black, who administers the program, was asked about the matter on September 25, 2007 during an U.S. Congressional investigation into WWE’s business practices (document).

Brian Cohen, senior investigator and policy advisor for the United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, asked Black, “There is another talent of Randy Orton who had be suspended in 2006, for not having—tested positive without a prescription, and he was mentioned in this article as well, and subsequently went to headline two pay-per-view events, but in the past month. I just wonder if that kind of—I know the policy would be suspended for 60 days; correct? Does that undermine your efforts when you see this happening, when you see a guy who has been in an article last week and then headlines these events?”

Black replied, “Oh, sure I would agree that that’s not good.”

WWE attorney Jerry S. McDevitt stated in a December 2010 letter to Concussion Inc author Irvin Muchnick that no action was taken against Orton because he was not on any Signature Pharmacy client list provided to WWE by the Albany, New York District Attorney’s Office. WWE, however, did not threaten Sports Illustrated nor the Daily News with legal action regarding the claim.

  • TheMark


    If any of us broke the rules as much as Randall does in our regular jobs, we would’ve been fired long ago.

  • The Awesome One

    if you all watch his documentary dvd he almost killed him self with overdosing to drugs so if this is something coming back to him or he just wanted time off, hope he gets the rest he needs

  • Shawn

    Orton should just get in trouble again and go to TNA. They let you smoke whatever you want, whenever you want. It’s all cool there, man (or should I say ‘mon’). Look at all the potheads they’ve hired: Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, RVD….. and many more that aren’t as open about it!

  • what?

    and like all of you live such a perfect life get over yourself

  • Simon

    Wow. 2 weeks ago, a Jericho/Orton feud was planned, fast forward two weeks and both are suspended. Well, hopefully this frees some time for pople like Ziggles, Ryder and other people who deserve a push or, god forbid, longer wrestling matches!

  • King albert


  • King albert

    i dont give a fuck how much he gets suspended our boy triple h wont fire him 😀 paid holiday, yes please. i love it. back in time to get the WHC from Sheamus

  • Maxwell

    RKO = Randy Keith On Drugs

  • sepulz


    He is a face. He might not be the “kiss the fans ass” type of face but he is a face. He rarely goes against other faces and if he does its in a multi-wrestler match. He gets cheered and only goes against heel wrestlers. I don’t know what else he needs to do to be considered a face by you? I’m not a huge fan of his but I will say that some of my favorite wrestling moments do include him as a heel. And I’ve been watching wrestling since 95. I think that most would agree that Heel Orton was not lame.

  • k roy

    @james…read it again…you think him saying thanks to the person who “stooged him off” was genuine?? i am a fan of orton the performer, not so much the guy…it was 100% sarcastic…have a read again and tell me i’m not right…

  • Tyler(:

    Half of the guys on here who’s saying stuff about Orton were insulting him on previous articles.


  • Dave

    I get the feeling that John Cena isn’t going to have any secrets left by the time his wife has finished.

  • Byron

    I guess just more air time for all of the Cena lovers. When are they going to suspend his baby face, stop at nothing, fruity pebbles character?

  • Byron

    Yeah right! As if they would fire Randy Orton on his third strike. The guy is a money maker for the company and is great with kids, which is bad for us attitude lovers lol

  • SYM

    Orton should get More Air time not John Cena. And I bet you all that John Cena does drugs and all that shit but WWE jus closes there eyes & act like they dont see it.

  • Bill

    Man, Smackdown better start pushing the younger talent. There’s only one main event face on the roster with Orton gone. Maybe guys like McIntyre, Gabriel, Kidd, Rhodes, Ziggler, & others can actually be in the main event for once.

  • poko

    Thanks for clarifying that. His choice of words made it sound sarcastic.

  • James

    And that’s coming from a guy who hates Orton.

  • James

    He was being sincere when he said thanks. I remember reading that he stated that incident helped him get back on track.

  • jo

    Randy isnt a face or a heel hes in the middle which is where he should stay at. a Cold viper never know when or on who he’ll strike on. Heel Randy was lame.

  • poko

    Orton blames someone else for him getting in trouble for doing drugs AT A SHOW? Really? It’s pretty much common sense not to smoke pot while at work. His problems are far from solved.

  • sepulz

    Hopefully when he comes back he goes heel

  • ant

    i think Orton needs some time off anyways and once he comes back refreshed he’ll be a better competitor