For Harry Smith, wrestling is in his blood. His father was a wrestler. Three of his uncles were wrestlers. His grandfather was a wrestler. Smith came from the Hart family, a name that is synonymous with wrestling.
But for Smith, wrestling has been both good and bad to him. His father, wrestler the “British Bulldog,” Davey Boy Smith passed away in 2002 as a result of a heart attack from using steroids. His uncle Owen Hart died as a result of a fatal fall taken in 1999 attempting to enter the ring from the ceiling of Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri.
His second uncle Bret Hart suffered a stroke in 2002, and has admitted to using steroids while wrestling for the WWF, now known as the WWE in the 1980’s and 90’s. However, Bret Hart has stated that he was not totally dependant on steroids.
In May 2006, Smith’s dream came true. Since he started wrestling at age 15, he finally got signed at the young age of 20 by the largest and most well-known wrestling company, World Wrestling Entertainment.
He promptly was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling, the organization which gets the younger wrestlers ready for the “big leagues” of the WWE. Smith wrestled in OVW for over a year before he was called up to the main roster of the WWE.
On October 22, 2007, Smith wrestled for the first time in the WWE on national television. Smith chose the wrestling name of “D.H. Smith.” The D was used in honor of his father Davey Boy Smith, and the H he used in honor of his family name, the Harts.
He even dedicated his first match to the memory of his father. Smith won his first nationally televised match, defeating Carlito by using his father’s old signature maneuver, the running power slam.
For Smith, his life seemed great. That is until a few days later.
The use of anabolic steroids has become a problem in not only wrestling, but all sports in this day and age. Most athletes use steroids to enhance their performance in competition, thus giving them an unfair advantage over other competitors.
Although steroids may seem to be a good solution to perform at a higher level, there are serious consequences that come with taking steroids. Steroid use and abuse has been linked to several effects on the body. These effects can be as small as physical deformities, such as acne and breast development in men, and chest hair development in women, just to name a few.
As small as some of these effects can be, they can also be very fatal. Along with physical deformities, steroids have been connected to several dangerous ailments such as heart attack, stroke, liver cancer, and depression, among others.
Many sports organizations, such as Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, the International Olympic
Committee and the National Collegiate Athletic Association have banned the use of steroids, human growth hormone, and any other performance enhancing drugs.
The WWE has instituted a wellness policy, on a “three strikes and you’re out” basis. The first violation results in a suspension for thirty days without pay. The second offense results in a sixty day suspension without pay. The third drug test failure marks a wrestlers’ release from the company.
The wellness policy was put in place in Feb. 2006, shortly after the sudden death of wrestler Eddie Guerrero in Nov. 2005. The policy tests wrestlers for drug and alcohol usage, steroids, and includes a cardiac screening. The wrestlers are also tested annually for pre-existing or developing cardiac issues.
On November 2, 2007, a mere eleven days after his debut on WWE television, Smith failed a drug test and was suspended by the WWE. According to the test results, Smith tested positive for Winstrol, which is also known as Stanozolol, a synthetic anabolic steroid.
In 2003, Smith claimed to have never taken steroids. “I’ve never taken steroids, and don’t plan to. Yes, my dad made mistakes, but I’ve learned from them. I won’t go down that path.” His suspension also came as a shock to most of his colleagues, considering his relationship with Chris Benoit.
Benoit was trained by Smith’s family, the Harts, and was suspected of using steroids which resulted in ‘roid rage before his untimely suicide in June 2007. However, the WWE claims that they tested Benoit for steroid usage before he died, and he tested negative. Benoit and Smith had a very close bond.
Smith returned to competition on Dec. 17, 2007, wrestling Charlie Haas in a preliminary match on WWE Heat, the show that is taped before the Monday night program, Raw. Heat is done exclusively for viewers on WWE.com.
Since his return, the WWE has used him sparingly on television. His lack of ring time is most likely a result from his suspension. Since his suspension, Smith has not tested positive again for any banned substances.