On April 20th, WWE announced that it had suspended wrestler Adam Rose for violation of the company’s Talent Wellness Program, which is aimed at the prohibition of recreational and performance enhancing drugs as well as concussion protocols. Rose, whose real name is Ray Leppan, has been adamant since day one that he was innocent. He was intent on clearing his sullied name.
“I am pretty sure this response will meet nowhere near the publicity that my suspension did. This response is tantamount to career suicide. I feel for my sons, sister and the rest of my family. You, the WWE Universe, have the right to know the truth over my suspension and what it was for. I can say right now that I did not do anything knowingly wrong and was taking prescribed medication that my doctor and I followed all the correct protocol on. My family and I are still collecting ourselves from this blow. I have zero anger or animosity against WWE but feel the administrators over the WWE Wellness Policy were just simply not right in taking this action.”
Leppan later revealed that his suspension stemmed from his use of the prescription drug Adderall for Adult Onset ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) and provided the proof he had alluded to in the form of his doctor’s note:
“I am writing this letter on behalf of Adam Rose (Ray Leppan – D.O.B. 7/20/79, whom I have treated since 4/30/15. He has [chronic] signs and symptoms of ADHD, determined through a very thorough [psychiatric] exam 4/30/15. He takes Adderall XR, which is an FDA-approved treatment for ADHD, and we have followed all standard of care protocols during his treatment, which has gone very well. He takes his medication as prescribed, and he is compliant with my treatment recommendations.”
In an on again, off again battle, Adam Rose waged a social media campaign via Twitter. He garnered the support of many fans, some of whom are living with ADHD. In the last few weeks, Rose has deleted tweets discussing his violation and contention that WWE knew about his condition and his prescription. He also removed his acknowledgement that standing up and speaking out against the company would be career suicide.
Will WWE be welcoming back Adam Rose into its good graces? Since his suspension, eight performers have been released from their contracts. Rose was not on this list. Some are wondering if it is because of his earning potential. Others feel that his campaign and fan support have caused World Wrestling Entertainment brass to reconsider. The latter is more likely, as Vince McMahon, Triple H, and Stephanie McMahon foresee a financial setback and backlash from the same fans who support Rose in the form of a boycott.
If what Leppan says is true, that he was suspended for proper use of a prescription medication rather than recreational drugs like marijuana or abuse of painkillers, why would WWE take such steps? Look no further than the impetus to form the Talent Wellness Plan: wrestler deaths. The deaths of Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Brian Pillman, Andrew “Test” Martin, “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig, and others, while under WWE contract or not, were all connected to drug use in some way.
Adderall is an amphetamine. Aside from its intended prescription use to treat ADHD, it has become popular as a recreational street drug. It has an ability to give extra pep and allow users to stay awake and alert for hours and days at a time. Adderall can also increase metabolism. Heath risks include high blood pressure, anxiety and possibly death. Leppan’s use of the drug may be the cause of his recent change in physique. He’s noticeably leaner and more toned since joining the Social Outcasts faction.
For decades, pro wrestling has been plagued by alcohol and drug related to the injuries and excessive travel of its performers. It was common for wrestlers to perform two to three times a day. Some work upwards of 300 days a year despite injuries.
[Image via WWE]