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Concussion Risk Leads WWE to Fine Wrestlers over the Weekend

The WWE fined both Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan an undisclosed amount for chair strikes to the head during a recent match.

“We don’t allow chair shots to the head in WWE,” WWE COO Triple H said in a statement. “We understand it was in the heat of the moment but we take this very seriously and as a result, [Orton and Bryan] were fined.”

The punishment is part of the company’s evolving stance on concussion prevention and treatment. The WWE’s new policy states that no wrestler can return to competition until they pass an imPACT test.

WWE physician Dr. Chris Amann said the organization uses the test “as an extension of our physical exam when we’re trying to determine if someone’s brain function has been affected by a concussion, which is a trauma-induced changed in neurological status. In WWE, that is usually a result of some sort of head trauma.”

The WWE also recently made a $1.2 million gift to the Sports Legacy Institute, a Boston non-profit developing treatment for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) – a brain disease associated with repeated concussions, which has been linked to depression and dementia.

The Sports Legacy Institute was founded by Chris Nowinski, himself a former WWE wrestler and Harvard football player, and Dr. Robert Cantu in an attempt to advance the study, treatment and prevention of the effects of CTE in athletes as well as the men and women who serve in the military.

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