KING: Coming to us now from his base in Tampa, Florida is John Cena, a return visit with the WWE champion and superstar.
He knew Chris Benoit professionally, as well.
Toxicology test results are in, in the shocking double murder and suicide involving Benoit, his wife Nancy and their 7-year-old son Daniel.
Investigators say that Benoit had steroids, the anti-anxiety drug Xanax and a painkiller in his system last month when he did the killings. According to the tests, his body had 10 times the normal level of testosterone. His wife tested positive for therapeutic levels of Xanax and painkillers. And his son had a high level of Xanax, indicating he likely was sedated at the time of his death.
What do you make of that, John?
JOHN CENA, WWE CHAMPION & SUPERSTAR, WORKED WITH CHRIS BENOIT: I make that the media kind of jump to conclusions. You can see that Dr. Kris Sperry said that there were elevated levels of testosterone. Chris tested clean for all anabolic steroids. Granted, the testosterone levels were high. But Kris Sperry also went on to state that even with his elevated levels of testosterone, there is no link between high testosterone level and the behavior that happened in the Chris Benoit murder.
This is — this is one of the things where the media, when the people seized — when the authorities seized Chris Benoit’s house, they found anabolic steroids. So immediately the media wanted to latch onto that. Now the theories on whether or not Chris sedated his children — or his child or his wife before suffocating them both, that is what it is. It’s just theory.
Like I said, Larry, the last time I was on the show — and thank you very much for having me back — what we have is an unexplainable tragedy. And people will theorize about this for as long as they want to, similar to the murder of president John F. Kennedy. But it will be just that.
The toxicology report is out and it’s obvious. Even with elevated levels of testosterone, Chris tested clean for anabolic steroids.
KING: All right.
But it’s obvious, also, to assume, John, that he must have — and maybe in an act of kindness in this weird case — given the 7-year-old Xanax so that he would be relaxed and sedated.
CENA: No, you’re right, Larry. But like you just said, it’s an assumption. And like with most of the details in this case, just because there was no — there was no note. This is not a telltale suicide. This really was an act that came out of left field. And because there’s no answer, the media wants to point to an answer. And that’s why the steroid issues comes up. That’s why the painkiller issue has come up. That’s why all these things have come up.
But like I said, this really came out of left field and I think this toxicology report proves it.
KING: What are your confreres saying, the other people in wrestling, your pro-wrestling partners and the like, what are they saying about this story?
CENA: Larry, we’re doing the best we can to make sure our life go on and my livelihood and our business goes on. The only one thing that has really hurt me and really that I take so sour about this whole situation is how the media shifted its focus from this horrible tragedy to our business, and has gone on degrading our business and how we handle our business.
The WWE has a substance abuse testing policy. It tests for performance enhancing drugs and illegal narcotics. Chris Benoit tested in April 2007 and was clean. So, by the toxicology report, what should have happened between April and the day that these acts were committed is Chris supplemented testosterone. That’s all. That’s it. Plain and simple.
But it’s a shame that the media has shifted its focus to the WWE, which tries so hard to protect and maintain the integrity of its athletes.
KING: In fact, the WWE’s statement is, on Mr. Benoit’s last drug test in April, administered by Aegis Labs, A-E-G-I-S: “He tested negative for anabolic steroids and for testosterone. Given the toxicology report of GBI released today, it would appear that Mr. Benoit took testosterone sometime after his April 2007 tests.”
How often are you tested, John?
CENA: I — since the testing began in February 2006, I’ve been tested six times. It’s a — the drug testing policy is administered so that each athlete, each performer gets tested four times a year. So I’m probably due for another two tests before the year’s at end. But it’s done at random, so at least I could be tested four times. At most, you could be tested any amount of times.
But the bottom line is four times per year guaranteed.
KING: Any penalty for testing positive?
CENA: The first penalty is a 30-day suspension and a clinical discussion about rehab. The second penalty is a complete six to eight week rehab program. The third penalty is finding another place to work, which I do appreciate because the WWE is not just kicking their talent to the curb. If they have a problem, the WWE is trying to make steps to fix it rather than just eliminate it. So they’ll try twice to help you out and if you can’t be helped, then obviously you have to go elsewhere for work.
KING: What do you make, John, of the large amounts of testosterone?
What do you make of it?
CENA: Obviously, Chris supplemented testosterone between April and the time of the tragedy. Now –
KING: I mean but why?
What do you take — what do you take it for?
CENA: I don’t — I’m not a doctor. Larry, I don’t know. And that’s something that I’m really uneducated about. I wish I could help you out there, because maybe that would help us. Maybe that would give another theory to what’s happened.
But as far as testosterone supplementation, I — I can’t give you an educated answer, so I don’t even want to theorize.
KING: John, thanks, as always, for joining us.
We look forward to seeing you soon.
CENA: No, thanks for having me back, man.
I appreciate it.
KING: John Cena, the WWE champion and superstar.
By the way, we did a whole show on this last week with John, Brett “The Hitman” Hart, Chris Jericho and others. If you missed it or wanted to see it again, it’s available by pod cast and you can download it at cnn.com/larryking or on iTunes.