NEW YORK -- World Wrestling Federation boss Vince McMahon Jr. admitted yesterday that he took an anabolic steroid to help add muscular definition to his body.
With the WWF under fire for its wrestlers' alleged use of steroids, McMahon chose to make his revelation at a news conference where he also announced a new independent steroid testing policy for the WWF and his new World Bodybuilding Federation.
"Approximately 3 1/2 , four years ago, I personally experimented with Deca-Durabolin for a short period of time," said McMahon, an avid body builder who works out daily. "It was supplied to me by Dr. [George] Zahorian." McMahon declined to elaborate on his use of the steroid or the exact length of time he took the drug.
Last month, Zahorian, a Harrisburg, Pa., doctor, was convicted on 12 of 14 counts of selling anabolic steroids to four professional wrestlers and a weightlifter. Zahorian, who faces up to 44 years in jail and a $3 million fine, testified that between November 1988 and March 1990 he sold steroids to McMahon, Hulk Hogan and Roddy Piper.
McMahon said the Zahorian trial, and subsequent negative publicity surrounding its link to the WWF, has led him to enlist an "independent" team of doctors to conduct steroid testing. He explained the WWF has had a drug-testing program since 1987, but he, along with an in-house administrator, ran the program. The program did not include a test for steroids.
McMahon declined to say why -- after repeated charges by former wrestlers that steroid use was rampant in the WWF -- he didn't take action sooner.
"I'm dealing with the future, not the past," McMahon said. "I can categorically state that the trial and the subsequent publicity was one of the best things to ever happen to the World Wrestling Federation. It gives us the opportunity to be held accountable."
Although McMahon said the publicity of the trial had no impact on the WWF at the gate or from advertisers who pitch products on WWF TV cards, it was clear he is instituting the steroid program to stem the tide of negative publicity.
"Our tests are going to be the most credible of anyone's anywhere," he continued. "We have nothing to hide, we have nothing to lose."