.ATLANTA (AP) – The amount of testosterone prescribed to pro wrestler Chris Benoit far exceeded the normal amount for a hormone disorder he was purportedly being treated for, federal prosecutors said in new court papers.
The papers were filed in a criminal case against Dr. Phil Astin, Benoit’s personal physician, who is charged with overprescribing medication to two other patients.
More charges against Astin are expected.
Authorities said Benoit, 40, strangled his wife with a cord, used a choke hold to strangle his 7-year-old son, placed Bibles next to the bodies and hanged himself on a piece of exercise equipment the weekend of June 22 in their suburban Atlanta home.
Steroid use has lingered as a theory behind the killings, since anabolic steroids were found in Benoit’s home and tests conducted by authorities showed Benoit had roughly 10 times the normal level of testosterone in his system when he died.
Some experts believe that use of testosterone can contribute to paranoia, depression and violent outbursts known as “roid rage.”
Benoit’s father believes years of head trauma his son suffered while in the ring contributed to the killings.
The government says that even if Benoit had a hormone disorder as a lawyer for the doctor has claimed, the amounts of testosterone he was given “well exceeded normal dosages.”
Prosecutors noted Benoit’s testosterone prescriptions in court papers Friday in response to an Astin defense motion to suppress items seized during several searches of Astin’s office, his mother’s home and a storage container he used. There was no immediate ruling on the motion.
Prosecutors said that over a 12-month period ending a month before the murder-suicide, Astin wrote seven prescriptions to Benoit, each dispensing a 10-month supply of testosterone cypionat. The total dosage, if broken down by month, is “in excess by 50 percent of Food and Drug Administration dosage guidelines,” prosecutors said.
Defense attorney Manny Arora – who has since left Astin’s case – argued that the government failed to seek the opinion of a hormone disorder specialist before filing search warrant affidavits asserting that the steroids Astin prescribed Benoit were excessive.