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Drugs found in Benoit

Pro wrestler had painkillers, steroids and anti-anxiety medicine in his system when he killed his wife and son.

July 18, 2007|From the Associated Press

DECATUR, GA. — Pro wrestler Chris Benoit had steroids and other drugs in his system when he killed his wife and young son last month and hanged himself in the family's home, investigators said Tuesday.

Benoit's body contained 10 times the normal level of testosterone, which appeared to have been injected shortly before he died, as well as the anti-anxiety medication Xanax and the painkiller hydrocodone, authorities said.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Benoit tested negative for alcohol.

The state's top medical examiner, Kris Sperry, said there was no evidence of any other anabolic steroids in the wrestler's body, and nothing to show steroids played a role in the death of Nancy and Daniel Benoit.

"An elevation of that ratio does not translate into something abnormal in a person's thought process or behavior," he said.

Sperry said the boy appeared to have been sedated when he was asphyxiated, and Benoit's wife had a "therapeutic" level of sedatives in her body.

Anabolic steroids were found in the home, raising questions about whether the drugs played a role in the killings. Some experts believe steroids can cause paranoia, depression and violent outbursts known as " 'roid rage."

Benoit's wife, Nancy, tested positive for Xanax, hydrocodone and the painkiller hydromorphone. Daniel Benoit, 7, had Xanax in his system, authorities said.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said it could not perform tests for steroids or human growth hormones on the boy because of a lack of urine.

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

Before he was charged, Astin told the Associated Press 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.

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