While the WWE isn't a sports organization that's handled with quite the same stringency as the NFL or the MLB, there is still a line which its athletes cannot cross when it comes to the use of illicit substances. Today, one of the WWE's most well-known superstars, Roman Reigns, got slapped with a suspension for violating the company's Talent Wellness-Program, and he won't be allowed to bust a Samoan drop on anybody for 30 days.
Specifics were all but absent when it comes to exactly what Roman Reigns was doing or using that went against the Talent Wellness-Program, a name that takes the cake when it comes to euphemism-heavy titling. It's generally some form of enhancing drug that athletes get busted with in-company when law enforcement isn't involved, but I guess it could be anything.
Roman Reigns (real name: Leati Joseph "Joe" Anoa'i) didn't take long before going public and copping to his mistake on social media, and he was also pretty vague about it.
There are enough completely debilitating ways for wrestlers to have to stop fighting that Roman Reigns should well know that whatever he was messing with wasn't going to get him on everyone's good side. And he's essentially chomping down on the hand that feeds and feeds in this situation.
While promoters try to sweep beyond-the-kayfabe tales under the rug, behind-the-scenes info always comes out, and it's no secret that Vince McMahon and the WWE have been hardcore about pushing Roman Reigns to the top of the stratosphere as a babyface (good guy), despite a very vocal fanbase's attempts to assert their disinterest in Reigns and his largely generic persona. It might be different if he would be allowed to become a heel (villain) for a spell, so that the booing and namecalling he incites in crowds would feel less cringe-worthy. But this was Strike 1 as far as the Talent Wellness business goes, so we'll see how things shake out when he returns to the ring.
I guess it wasn't the worst time for Reigns to get suspended, since this past weekend's pay-per-view event Money in the Bank 2016 did not go his way. He ended up losing the World Heavyweight Champion belt in the first main event to Seth Rollins, who in turn coughed it up to Dean Ambrose after the latter cashed in the contract he'd won earlier that night. Reigns will have to plan his revenge from outside the arena.
Though WWE suspensions such as this one don't get publicized that often, there have been quite a few over the past couple decades, as access to enhancement drugs became widespread. Greats such as Rob Van Dam, Kurt Angle and Edge all got 30-day suspensions, and Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton both got second strikes with 60-day absences.