Mero worked for WWE between 1996 and 1999 after performing as the Johnny B. Badd character in WCW from 1991 to 1996. The 60-year-old, who used to have a drug addiction, has previously been outspoken about the number of wrestlers who died due to steroids and drugs.
Speaking on the Such Good Shoot podcast, Mero said his comments on the subject helped contribute toward WWE adopting a stricter drug policy. However, he thinks his candid opinions also harmed his relationship with his former employers.
“When I spoke out against it, and obviously I'm vilified from wrestling and blackballed, and probably will never be invited to a WrestleMania, whatever,” Mero said. “But here's the thing, guys. You’ve got to be proud of what you're looking at in the mirror every day. Because of that, because of me and some other guys that stood up, now any wrestler that ever stepped foot in the WWE ring gets free drug and alcohol rehab.”
Marc Mero was particularly critical of WWE’s drug testing policy after Chris Benoit’s double murder-suicide in 2007. The former Intercontinental Champion claimed in interviews that “the sport of professional wrestling” was responsible for so many wrestlers dying at a young age.
Marc Mero on WWE’s Talent Wellness Program
WWE implemented its Talent Wellness Program on February 27, 2006. According to the company’s website, the program is administered independently by world renowned medical professionals. As part of the program, WWE also covers 100 percent of all costs associated with in-ring related injuries and rehabilitation.
Marc Mero only received one drug test during his three-year WWE run. He is happy that the Talent Wellness Program, which includes substance abuse and drug testing, now exists in WWE.
“I don't care if you wrestled 20, 30 years ago and you have a problem today, the WWE will pay for your drug and alcohol rehab,” Mero said. “They also have some of the strictest drug testing now, Olympic drug testing they have there now, we never had that back when we were there.
"So there's so many changes that have happened because of people standing up and saying enough is enough, let's save lives. And that's what it's all about.”
Mero retired from in-ring competition in 2006 after a 16-year wrestling career. He now works as a motivational speaker.
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