The wrestler, who has been suspended for 30 days, tweeted shortly after his suspension: “I apologize to my family, friends and fans for my mistake in violating WWE’s wellness policy. No excuses, I own it”.
However, there was no mention of the specific violation by either the WWE or Anoa’i in their respective statements, though both parties commented on the matter via Twitter.
A first-time violation, as is the case for Roman Reigns, results in an automatic 30-day suspension. The second violation is a 60-day suspension. If a wrestler violates the policy for a third time, their contract would be terminated, and they would be prohibited from being rehired for at least a year after their firing, reported the Rollingstone.
This wellness suspension is the third penalty of its kind that WWE has issued in 2016. In April, the company suspended Raymond Leppan (Adam Rose) and Ryan Parmeter (Konnor) for 60 days each for their second violations of the policy. Leppan subsequently requested and was granted his release.
As Reigns, Anoa’i is a three-time WWE world heavyweight champion, a one-time WWE tag-team champion and the 2015 Royal Rumble winner. He also played college football at Georgia Tech from 2003 to 2006, where he was a three-year starter at defensive tackle.
The WWE Wellness Policy was put into place in February 2006, shortly after the death of Eddie Guerrero.
While there’s a long list of prohibited substances, the policy boils down to the following as illegal: “The “non-medical use” and associated abuse of prescription medications and performance enhancing drugs, as well as the use, possession and/or distribution of illegal drugs, by WWE Talent are unacceptable and prohibited by this Policy, as is the use of masking agents or diuretics taken to conceal or obscure the use of prohibited drugs.”