WWE made some changes to their Wellness Policy back in July that went under the radar until now. The most notable changes appear to be fines for testing positive for alcohol and a new way talents can get violations erased from their record with the Redemption Program. Here are some of the changes:
— A WWE Talent may request a Therapeutic Use Exception (“TUE”) for a prohibited drug under the Policy if (i) such use is for a legitimate medical purpose given pursuant to a valid prescription from a licensed and treating physician of the WWE Talent; (ii) the use of such prohibited drug is required for more than sixty (60) consecutive days; (iii) the medical need for the prescription and for the prescribed dosage is documented in accordance with standards and practices commonly accepted within the United States medical community; and (iv) the medical need is confirmed by the Medical Director. A WWE Talent in need of a TUE must immediately notify, or cause his/her issuing physician to notify, the Medical Director of the existence of a prescription for a prohibited drug and the medical need for the TUE. Whenever requested to do so by the Medical Director, the WWE Talent shall provide, or cause his/her issuing physician to provide any and all documentation supporting the issuance of the prescription. If requested by the Medical Director, a WWE talent will be examined by physicians/consultants designated by the Medical Director with an expertise in the specific area covered by the prescription. Following the review of all documentation provided by WWE Talent and his/her medical team and, if necessary, the results of any medical exams/tests performed by physicians/consultants designated by the Medical Director, the Medical Director shall make a determination as to whether or not a TUE should be granted to a WWE Talent. The Medical Director shall report his determination to the WWE Talent, the PA and WWE.
A TUE shall be effective for no more than one (1) calendar year (or the remainder of the calendar year then in effect) from the date the WWE Talent first notified, or caused his/her issuing physician to first notify, the Medical Director of the need for a TUE and the existence of a prescription for a prohibited drug. The TUE shall not be effective for any use or possession of a prohibited drug prior to that date. After initial issuance, a TUE may be renewed annually, upon request of the WWE Talent, if (i) the WWE Talent is in full compliance with the terms of the previously issued TUE; (ii) the WWE Talent provides updated medical documentation necessary to support the continued need for a TUE, and (iii) the WWE Talent submits to any additional medical tests or exams required by the Medical Director to confirm the continuing need for the TUE.
A urine sample which is found to contain a prohibited drug will not be deemed a positive test result if such sample was provided by a WWE Talent with a valid and effective TUE for that prohibited drug. A WWE Talent with a TUE for a prohibited drug does not violate the Policy by possessing or using that prohibited drug.
A WWE Talent who is determined not to qualify for a TUE may not challenge a determination that he/she violated the Policy by contending, in connection with a “no fault or negligence” defense or otherwise, that he/she believed he/she would qualify or had qualified for a TUE.
— Any WWE Talent, who is arrested, convicted or who admits to a violation of law relating to use, possession, purchase, sale or distribution of drugs will be in material breach of his/her contract with WWE and subject to immediate dismissal.
— In the event of a positive test for alcohol, the WWE Talent shall be fined Two Thousand Five Hundred US Dollars ($2,500.00) per positive test, which shall be deducted from the WWE Talent’s downside guarantee.
— A WWE talent who has “two” violations under the Policy may, subject to Medical Director approval, enter the Redemption Program. The Redemption Program is an eighteen (18) month process that requires the following:
* An initial assessment conducted by the Medical Director (or, as the case may be, an addiction specialist recommended by the Medical Director) who will analyze the addiction related issues and health related concerns then being experienced by the WWE Talent, develop proposed treatments, therapies and/or support programs that may assist the WWE Talent in managing these issues/concerns and determine initial entry date for the WWE Talent into the Redemption Program;
* Compliance with the assessment recommendations made by the Medical Director (or, as the case may be, an addiction specialist recommended by the Medical Director) for the duration of the eighteen (18) month program;
* Mandatory unannounced follow-up testing as set forth in Section 8(C) (1) of the Policy; and
* No violations under the Policy for eighteen (18) consecutive months after initial entry into the Redemption Program.
* Upon successful completion of the Redemption Program, the WWE Talent shall request the PA, with the approval of the Medical Director, to delete one (1) of the two (2) violations of record for such WWE Talent. In the event the PA determines in favor of the request, the violation record for such WWE Talent will then be amended to reflect the reduction of a violation leaving the WWE Talent with only one (1) violation under the Policy.
— Pain medications, and other substances prohibited by this Policy, may be abused at times and can become addictive. A WWE Talent who believes he/she may have a problem with substance abuse is encouraged to self-report and request assistance. No penalties are imposed on WWE Talent for voluntarily acknowledging a problem to the Medical Director prior to a drug test being performed herein and WWE will assist in securing rehabilitation services in such situations. The rehabilitation process can be engaged by a WWE Talent notifying the Medical Director, the PA, WWE Ringside Physicians or the WWE Wellness Coordinator that he/she has a problem and needs assistance.