Randy Orton's second violation of WWE's Talent Wellness Program puts the organization in a quandary since one more infraction would result in automatic termination. However, given the long-held belief that WWE selectively enforces their drug testing policy, there is skepticism as to whether the organization would follow through on cutting ties with the high-ranked wrestler in the event of another drug test failure.
Dustin Starr, who appeared as referee for Florida Championship Wrestling in 2010, tweeted "WWE would never release Randy Orton" in response to former Intercontinental Champion Lance Storm praising the sports entertainment organization for sticking to their drug testing policy with the 60-day suspension of The Viper. Storm disagreed with his remark.
"By policy they could rehire after 1 year. He'd be fresh and hot on return," Storm explained.
Starr replied, "I don't know. Seems like a diamond they would not be willing to let go. He's a golden boy."
WWE's official procedure for handling a third Talent Wellness Program violation reads: "In the event of a third positive test for substances prohibited by this Policy other than marijuana and alcohol, the WWE Talent's contract with WWE will be terminated and WWE will publicly disclose the WWE Talent's name and that WWE Talent's contract was terminated for a third violation of the Policy.
"Any WWE Talent, who has participated in a drug rehabilitation program as a result of the Policy, must undergo the mandatory unannounced follow-up testing set forth in Section 8 C (1) of the Policy for the remainder of his/her contractual relationship with WWE.
"Any WWE Talent, who leaves the WWE for any reason with a first or second violation on his/her record, will maintain said violation count on his/her record from the time he/she departs WWE until the time he/she returns, if ever, to the WWE.
"In addition, a WWE Talent, who is terminated by the WWE for a third violation of the Policy, will be prohibited from returning to the WWE for at least one (1) year. If a WWE Talent, who is terminated for a third violation of the Policy, is permitted by the WWE, in its sole discretion, to return to the WWE, then (1) such WWE Talent must test negative for all prohibited substances under this Policy during the pre-contract screening process; (2) such WWE Talent will return to the WWE with a first and second violation of this Policy against his/her record; and (3) such WWE Talent must undergo the mandatory unannounced follow-up testing set forth in Section 8 C (1) of the Policy for a period of at least one (1) year after execution of his/her new contract with WWE."
The nine-time world champion's suspension reportedly stems from a positive drug test for the anabolic steroid Dianabol, which is banned by the United States Congress under its Controlled Substances Act. He also reportedly tested positive for marijuana, which is subject to a $2,500 fine.