Professional wrestler Chris Benoit’s powerful build and muscular grappling maneuvers helped to make him a crowd favorite and propelled him to a world heavyweight championship in 2004. No one was prepared for the shocking turn this past June when he killed his wife and son, then hanged himself in their home near Atlanta. The subsequent announcement by the state medical examiner’s office that Benoit’s body showed he had been taking injections of testosterone (along with an antianxiety drug and a painkiller) seemed all too predictable, given how often anabolic steroids such as testosterone have been linked to violent behavior.
And yet the official findings might still have offered one surprise: according to medical examiner Kris Sperry, there was no clear evidence that the steroids played a part in the murders. Benoit’s levels of testosterone were 10 times normal, but as Sperry was quoted as pointing out, “An elevation of that ratio does not translate into something abnormal in a person’s thought process or behavior.”
This article was originally published with the title Testosterone's Bad Rep.