Paige's Wellness Policy Violation: Potential Consequences and Double Standards

News broke today that Paige has been suspended due to a violation of WWE’s Wellness Policy for the second time since August.

Should Paige violate the policy a third time at any point in the future, her contract could be terminated, under the conditions of WWE’s policy. The policy states in section 15:

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In the event of a third positive test for substances prohibited by this Policy other than marijuana and alcohol, the WWE Talent’s contract with WWE will be terminated and WWE will publicly disclose the WWE Talent’s name and that WWE Talent’s contract was terminated for a third violation of the Policy.

Now that she has violated the policy twice, she’s eligible to have one of her violations removed from her record. Under the policy’s “Redemption Program” a talent may essentially have one of their two “strikes” against them forgiven if they participate in the following process, which would take 18 months to complete, found in 15(d) of the policy:

  1. 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;
  2. 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;
  3. Mandatory unannounced follow-up testing as set forth in Section 8(C) (1) of the Policy; and
  4. No violations under the Policy for eighteen (18) consecutive months after initial entry into the Redemption Program.

Even if Paige were to leave WWE and return later, she would still have the same number of violations held against her upon her theoretical return to the company.

In one of her tweets this morning, Paige raised a valid criticism:

WWE has shown that the Wellness Policy does not apply to all talent. Brock Lesnar failed two drug tests related to his UFC fight (administered by USADA, not WWE). WWE didn’t level any penalty against Lesnar for his drug test failures despite precedent of penalizing talents in 2007 who were revealed to have received performancing-enhancing drugs from an illicit drug ring.

It’s also apparent WWE likely doesn’t subject any of its part-time performers to drug testing. WWE CEO Vince McMahon told a Congressional committee in 2007 that he himself isn’t tested under the policy, despite being contracted as a talent besides his duties as a corporate executive. It’s likely other part-time talents such as Triple H, Undertaker and The Rock are not drug-tested under the policy at any time before or after they perform for WWE. Yet talents such as Hornswoggle and Paige have been subject to testing, as evidenced by their policy violations, despite their limited schedules which are comparable to Lesnar’s schedule in terms of match-count.

Paige hasn’t had a match since June 27, due to injury, yet news of her violations broke in August and today. Hornswoggle had 6 matches in all of 2014 until he was suspended in September of that year for violating the policy. Lesnar has had 9 matches so far in 2016, spread throughout the year.

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