Investigators say that wrestler Benoits' 7-year-old son, Daniel, was sedated at the time he was murdered, because a high level of the anti-anxiety drug Xanax was found in the boy's system. It was also found that Chris had a steroid and other drugs in his system when he killed his wife and young son last month and hanged himself in the family's home.
Dr. Kris Sperry, chief medical examiner for the state with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, released the results of the toxicology report for the wrestler; his wife, Nancy; and son, Daniel. Benoit's body contained 10 times the normal level of testosterone, as well as amounts of the anti-anxiety drug Xanax and the painkiller hydrocodone.
"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." "Although testosterone was found in Christopher Benoit's urine, there is no evidence of any other of the illegal types of steroids, or the whole laundry list of anabolic steroids that are out there to be used," Sperry said, adding, "the presence of the testosterone alone even could be an indicator that he was being treated for testicular insufficiency." The GBI said Benoit tested negative for blood alcohol.
"There's no reliable scientific data that says elevated levels of testosterone lead to psychotic rage," Sperry said. So nothing decisive could be said about Chris's state of mind before his death.
The investigation into the Benoits' deaths led to speculation that the wrestler may have been injecting steroids and had experienced what is called " 'roid rage," leading him to kill his wife and son.
The GBI said it could not perform tests for steroids or human growth hormones on the son because of a lack of urine.
Benoit's wife, Nancy, tested positive for Xanax, hydrocodone and the painkiller hydromorphone, but the decomposition process hindered the ability to determine the precise levels of the drugs at the time of her death. An elevated alcohol level found in her system could also be due to the decomposition process, Sperry said.
The test results were expected to shed more light on Benoit's last moments. Benoit had killed his wife and son in their suburban Atlanta home, placed Bibles next to their bodies and then hanged himself on the cable of a weight machine.
Federal authorities have charged Benoit's personal physician, Dr. Phil Astin, with improperly prescribing painkillers and other drugs to two patients other than Benoit. "Through prescription records for Mr. Benoit maintained at a pharmacy in Fayetteville, Georgia, Dr. Astin was identified as prescribing, on average, a 10-month supply of anabolic steroids to Mr. Benoit every three to four weeks from May 4, 2006, through May 9, 2007," the U.S. attorney's office said. DR. Astin has pleaded not guilty.
District Attorney Scott Ballard would not answer questions about the state of the investigation into the Benoits' deaths, which he said is ongoing.
"We'd rather wait until we have more of the pieces so we can be more accurate and discuss more of a whole what happened," he said. "We're trying to envision as best we can what happened inside that household. This (the toxicology report) adds one element to all the other elements."