Wrestler Chris Benoit Used Steroid Testosterone; Son Sedated Before Murders

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

DECATUR, Ga. —  Professional wrestler Chris Benoit had an elevated level of testosterone in his system but no other steroids in his body, and his 7-year-old son was sedated at the time of his death, a Georgia medical examiner said Thursday.

“This level of testosterone indicates that he had been using testosterone at least within some reasonably short period of time prior to the time that he died,” said Dr. Kris Sperry, chief medical examiner for the state with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, as he released the results of the toxicology report for the wrestler; his wife, Nancy; and son, Daniel.

“Although testosterone was found in Christopher Benoit’s urine, there is no evidence of any other of the illegal types of steroids, or the whole laundry list of anabolic steroids that are out there to be used,” Sperry said, adding, “the presence of the testosterone alone even could be an indicator that he was being treated for testicular insufficiency.”

Besides steroids, Benoit’s body contained the anti-anxiety drug Xanax and the painkiller hydrocodone, according to a statement from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The GBI said Benoit tested negative for blood alcohol.

But Sperry said that they found a drug in the child’s system that surprised them: Xanax.

“It is our opinion that Daniel Benoit was sedated by Xanax at the time that he was murdered, so that (means) he was sedated prior to the time that he died,” he said.

The GBI said it could not perform tests for steroids or human growth hormones on the son because of a lack of urine.

Benoit’s wife, Nancy, tested positive for Xanax, hydrocodone and the painkiller hydromorphone, but the decomposition process hindered the ability to determine the precise levels of the drugs at the time of her death. An elevated alcohol level found in her system could also be due to the decomposition process, Sperry said.

“The decomposition will affect the ability to interpret these drug levels reliably,” Sperry said. “Before she died, they may have been higher. They could have been lower. We just don’t know and we’ll never know.”

The test results were expected to shed more light on Benoit’s last moments. Authorities said Benoit killed his wife and son in their suburban Atlanta home, placed Bibles next to their bodies and then hanged himself on the cable of a weight machine.

Anabolic steroids were found in the home, leading officials to wonder if the drugs played a role in the killings. Some experts believe steroids can cause paranoia, depression and violent outbursts known as “roid rage.”

“There is no reliable scientific data that conclusively says that elevated levels of administered testosterone lead to excessive rage or behavioral disorders,” Sperry said. “All the testing that’s been done regarding that has been completely inconclusive.”

Federal authorities have charged Benoit’s personal physician, Dr. Phil Astin, with improperly prescribing painkillers and other drugs to two patients other than Benoit. He has pleaded not guilty.

Investigators have also raided Astin’s office several times since the deaths, seizing prescription records and other documents.

Before he was charged, Astin told the AP he prescribed testosterone for Benoit, a longtime friend, in the past. He would not say what, if any, medications he prescribed when Benoit visited his office June 22, the day authorities believe Benoit killed his wife.

“It’s a little unclear to know exactly where this leads us, but you take this piece and you compare it with what a witness said or what was found at the scene and suddenly the picture begins to become more in focus,” said Scott Ballard, district attorney for Fayette County. “And that’s what we’re certainly hoping to do.”

FOXNews.com’s Sara Bonisteel and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Wrestler Chris Benoit:Fans, Friends Look Behind Benoit Facade

By ELIZABETH MERRILL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ga., July 1, 2007

flagranny2 says: “I came across this article and found it to be quite interesting and thought I’d  share it with those who may not have already read it.  I felt the whole article was too long to post however you can continue reading the full article at (ABC News)”

The house, by most appearances, is immaculate and perfect. The fireplace, the wooden deck, the private staircase climbing up to a little boy’s room. The circle driveway and the red Hummer.

When fact blurred to fantasy, Nancy Benoit never told people this, that in high school, all she really wanted to be was a housewife. Now her house is where the story ends and the spectacle begins.

It takes a good navigational system to get to the Benoit home, past a gravel road, through a narrow two-lane spin with tall Georgia trees on both sides. Gawkers have inched by for days, peering through the metal gate for answers. A woman rolled in from North Carolina the other night, reeking of alcohol, firing a volley of “why’s” as a neighbor went to get his mail. She allegedly pelted him with rocks and wound up in jail.

“It’s certainly surreal,” says Fayette County district attorney Scott Ballard. “I’ve used the word bizarre. There are so many bizarre things about it.

The why might never be answered — why Chris Benoit, wrestling superstar, alleged family man, apparently murdered his wife on a Friday, strangled his son on a Saturday then wrapped a cord from his weight machine around his neck and hung himself on a Sunday.

Because they lived in a world of scripted storylines, flying clotheslines and outlandish ring names, it took nearly a day for some WWE fans to believe that Benoit and his family were actually dead. Some still can’t swallow it.

But fiction, those close to the case will say, could not trump the reality on Green Meadow Lane.

Ballard sits in his office across town at 5:30 p.m., after office hours because the Benoit case has evolved into a round-the-clock, breaking-news buffet of Geraldo and Greta proportions. Before Monday, Ballard had no idea who Benoit was. Maybe, he says, nobody really did.

He’s describing how rigormortis had set in by the time they found Nancy, whose skin was marbleized as she lay face-down on the floor. He’s remembering his walk into Daniel’s room — the 7-year-old boy’s body was gone, but posters of his dad still hung on the wall, and two toy wrestling belts sat on a shelf.

There was every indication, Ballard says, that Daniel Benoit adored his father. 

I pray for two things,” Ballard says. “That he didn’t know about his mother’s death and he was asleep when he was strangled.             to continue → ABC News

Wrestler Chris Benoit’s Doctor Charged: Update/correction

July 3, 2007

I learned today form Fox News that Benoit’s doctor had been prescribing a 10 month supply of steroids every 3-4 weeks to Benoit for over a year.  I had previously posted that it was just 3-4 weeks prior to his death assuming it was a one time prescription of a 10 month supply.

I wanted to clarify that info as my original post was incorrect.