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Wrestler Hardy suspended for 2nd violation of WWE drug policy

STAMFORD, Conn. -- World Wrestling Entertainment has
suspended one of its most popular performers for a second violation
of the company's drug policy.

WWE spokesman Gary Davis says wrestler Jeff
Hardy, who has headlined numerous live and pay-per-view events, has
been suspended for 60 days. Davis would not say what drugs were
involved.

Davis says there have been about 30 suspensions under the WWE
substance abuse and drug-testing policy begun last year, which
requires tests for steroids and other drugs.

A wrestler faces a 30-day suspension without pay for a first
violation, a 60-day suspension for a second violation and firing
for a third violation. Performers are tested at least four times
per year.

WWE implemented its current random drug-testing policy after the November 2005 death of wrestler Eddie Guerrero, 38, who was found dead in a hotel room in Minneapolis prior to a WWE show. A subsequent autopsy showed heart disease. Because steroids cause the heart to work harder to pump blood to an enlarged physique, they have been associated with arterial wear and tear.

In August 2007, WWE suspended 10 of its wrestlers for violating its "wellness policy" -- mostly for making illegal purchases of human-growth hormone -- as investigators from the Albany, N.Y., district attorney's office were gathering evidence for a wide-ranging investigation into online pharmacies.

WWE underwent significant scrutiny in June 2007, when one of its popular wrestlers, Chris Benoit, killed his wife and son, then hung himself in their home in Atlanta. Authorities said Benoit's body was found to have 10 times the normal level of testosterone, as well as the anti-anxiety drug Xanax and the painkiller hydrocodone.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.