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GBI: Benoit had steroids in system

AP Latest on Benoit

http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/fayette/stories/2007/07/17/benoit_0717.html

By GREG BLUESTEIN
The Associated Press
Published on: 07/17/07

Pro wrestler Chris Benoit had an elevated level of steroids in his system when he killed his wife and son and then took his own life, Georgia's top medical examiner said Tuesday, calling it "an indication that he had been injecting testosterone."

Dr. Kris Sperry also said the son, Daniel Benoit, was sedated when he was killed, and that the mother also had prescription drugs in her system.

Referring to the steroids in Chris Benoit, Sperry said, "This level of testosterone indicates that he had been using testosterone at least within some reasonably short period of time prior to the time that he died, depending on how it was injected, the form that it was used."

He added, "The level was elevated."

But Sperry said the results do not show whether steroids were linked to the killings last month at the Benoits' suburban Atlanta home.

Also found in Chris Benoit were the drugs Xanax and hydrocodone, according to a statement from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The GBI said Benoit was negative for blood alcohol.

The statement said Nancy Benoit had Xanax, hydrocodone and hydromporphone in her body.

The son, Daniel Benoit had Xanax in his system, the statement said. The GBI said it could not perform tests for steroids or human growth hormones on the son because of lack of adequate amount of urine.

Xanax is an anti-anxiety drug. Hydrocodone is a painkiller.

The statement was released just before an afternoon news conference.

The test results were expected to shed more light on Benoit's last moments. Authorities said Benoit killed his wife and 7-year-old son in their metro Atlanta home last month, placed Bibles next to their bodies and then hanged himself on the cable of a weight machine.

Anabolic steroids were found in the Benoits' gated home, leading officials to wonder if the drugs played a role in the killings. Some experts believe steroids can cause paranoia, depression and violent outbursts known as "roid rage."

Toxicology tests were conducted on Benoit's body to determine if steroids or other drugs were present. Blood-alcohol tests also were conducted on his body, and chemical tests were conducted on the bodies of the wife and son.

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

Investigators office has also been raided Astin's office several times since the deaths, seizing prescription records and other medical documents.

Before he was charged, Astin told the AP 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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