WWE Suspends Alberto Del Rio and Paige

Alberto Del Rio and Paige

On August 17, 2016, WWE announced that Alberto Del Rio and Paige had both been suspended for violating the organization’s talent wellness policy.

It was the first time either competitor had been suspended, and both were for 30 days. Both suspensions went into effect the following day.

WWE’s announcement on Del Rio’s suspension came first.

“WWE has suspended Jose Rodriguez (Alberto Del Rio) for 30 days effective Thursday, Aug. 18, for his first violation of the company’s talent wellness policy,” WWE said in its statement.

Del Rio had wrestled the night before on SmackDown Live. Taking on frequent foe John Cena, “The Essence of Excellence” was soundly beaten in the main event of the show.

Hours after the suspension of Del Rio was announced, WWE made its announcement on Paige (and on her 24th birthday no less).

“WWE has suspended Saraya-Jade Bevis (Paige) for 30 days effective Thursday, Aug. 18, for her first violation of the company’s talent wellness policy,” WWE announced.

While the couple’s respective suspensions were announced separately, they were announced together in a subsequent press release on the organization’s corporate website.

“WWE has suspended Saraya-Jade Bevis (Paige) and Jose Rodriguez (Alberto Del Rio) each for 30 days effective tomorrow, August 18, for a first violation of the company’s talent wellness policy,” the statement read.

Exactly what Del Rio and Paige took or did to be suspended has been publicly withheld. There are always rumors, and the knee-jerk speculation will naturally point to performance-enhancing drugs since the professional wrestling industry has a long and storied history with those. Yet the couple being very public about their personal activities outside of the ring, then getting punished with matching suspensions, adds an extra level of intrigue to the situation. However, according to Wrestling Observer Newsletter editor Dave Meltzer, the couple did not test positive for the same substance.

Del Rio saw his second stint in WWE come to an end while serving the 30-day suspension. On September 9, 2016, WWE announced that both parties mutually agreed upon the terms of his release.

“WWE and Jose Rodriguez (Alberto Del Rio) have mutually agreed upon the terms of his release as of today, September 9, 2016,” WWE stated.

“My business relationship with @WWE has come to an end in good terms,” Del Rio tweeted minutes later. “Thanks for the opportunities they gave me.”

Later that day, Del Rio claimed in an interview that he was suspended for using testosterone replacement therapy which was prescribed by his doctor. The suspension also factored into his decision to once again part ways with WWE.

“It was that and along with many more things that made me not want to be there. But there are rules. Their Wellness Program is one of their rules. I can’t call it absurd because when you work for them, you sign a contract. You know that you are subject to their terms. I don’t think it’s fair because there is a big difference in people using medication to obtain better … (he wanted to say performance-enhancing) physical performance,” Del Rio told Más Lucha.

He continued, “But when it is like in my case, a testosterone replacement, where I am a 40-year-old man and it is a medical matter that I have proof of from my doctors. I don’t think it is something fair. But I come back to the same thing. It’s their Wellness Policy and you have to abide to it. So yeah that was part of it, but not all of it. There were many reasons. But it did help me to make the decision to say, “Goodbye, see you later. I don’t want to be in this company.”

Following Del Rio’s exit from WWE, rumors surfaced that Paige was planning on following him out the door. That matter was considered closed after she released a statement on Twitter clarifying her status with the organization.

“First, I’d like to thank all my fans for their love and support the last few weeks. Let me begin by saying that the rumors I’m leaving the WWE are completely false! I certainly look forward to returning back to action at some point, once my injury is treated and on a healthy return,” Paige wrote.

WWE does not disclose details about violations in regards to why a sanction is levied, but Paige insisted she was not suspended for failing a drug test. Rather, it was due to a “procedural issue” with Aegis (Aegis Sciences Corporation), the company that administers drug testing for WWE.

“Although I was disappointed by my suspension, I respect the WWE’s Wellness Policy. However, let me be clear that I was not suspended for failing a drug test, it was merely due to a procedural issue. I took the test, I passed it,” she wrote.

Paige continued, “I arranged said test to happen after I wasn’t at home when aegis contacted me. So I drove 200 miles to do it. Unfortunately I didn’t do it on time, according to Aegis. Once again, thank you for all the love and support!”

So that’s their side of the story on being suspended from WWE. Now there will be those who choose not to believe them, but that’s with anything controversial like this.

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