Linda McMahon has been working hard to reinvent herself as a credible political candidate. She has had a difficult time escaping the scandals involving anabolic steroids that have plagued World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) throughout its history. And her opponents have never missed an opportunity to highlight the steroid problems associated with WWE.
McMahon is still most widely recognized as the former President and Chief Executive Officer of the WWE professional wrestling empire. McMahon and her husband Vince McMahon created WWE (as the World Wrestling Federation) in 1990. They own 59% of the publicly traded stock of WWE. The WWE empire has made them very wealthy creating an estimated personal net worth approaching one billion dollars.
McMahon ended her successful tenure at WWE in 2009 and immediately launched her political career. She ran an unsuccessful campaign as a Republican Party politician seeking a Senatorial seat for the State of Connecticut. She reportedly spent as much as $50 million of her own money on the campaign. She lost to Democratic party nominee Richard Blumenthal. Currently, she is seeking the Republican party nomination to replace the retiring Senator Joe Lieberman.
As quickly as McMahon could throw her hat back into the political arena, critics have attacked her association with WWE. Joshua Carter, in an editorial for a Connecticut newspaper called the Darien Times, accused the WWE of “possibly encouraging steroid use.”
“Mrs. McMahon loves to point out how she’s created jobs. But she does not like to answer questions about those jobs,” wrote Carter. “While CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, she created jobs that included making fun of retarded men, demeaning women and possibly encouraging steroid use…”
WWE was quick to respond and defend itself against the steroid allegations. Brian Flinn, the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for WWE, released a statement describing its commitment to the health of its performers and its opposition to steroid use as evidenced by its random drug testing policy.
“You also wrote that WWE has been “encouraging steroid use,” which is a blatant misstatement of fact,” said the statement. “WWE prohibits steroid use and conducts a minimum of four random drug tests per year for all talent and any performer that tests positive is suspended. WWE began testing for steroids in 2006, before many major sports leagues, and we currently have one of the most comprehensive talent wellness programs in all of sports and entertainment, managed by world renowned third party medical experts.”
Fisher, J. (July 12, 2012). Editorial: McMahon’s free pass. Retrieved from http://www.darientimes.com/6572/editorial-mcmahons-free-pass/
Flinn, B. (July 12, 2012). WWE responds to July 12 editorial in the Darien Times by Joshua Fisher. Retrieved from http://www.wwe.com/inside/standupforwwe/wwe-responds-darien-times-july-12-2012