February 9, 2008
Booker T: 'I've done steroids'But it wasn't to bulk up ... doc prescribed them for injuries
By TIM BAINES - Ottawa Sun
Robert Booker Tio Huffman is engaging, sometimes playful, over the phone. He's a man's man, a good guy.
As Booker T, he's reached the pinnacle of the wrestling business, a multi-time champion, including heavyweight title reigns in both WCW and WWE. But even with such a resume, he's unassuming, interrupting a PlayStation3 session to answer some questions on the phone.
For a guy who's accomplished so much in wrestling, for a guy who was a drum major and breakdancer, he's got so much more to do in life. Golf, he says, may be his true calling. Or maybe he'll be a politician.
All very impressive for a guy who was unfairly, he says, vilified by WWE. And for a guy who, so many years ago, served 19 months in prison for armed robbery.
"I've made a lot of mistakes," he says. "But I'm living the American dream. I'm proof that you can turn your life around.
"I was never really a bad person. I just got caught up in something. When I got in trouble, I'd never even had a traffic ticket before and I was facing five to 99 years (in prison). I didn't hurt anybody. I should have been put in a deferred program or boot camp. But I had myself to blame."
And what about a suspension from WWE, which reacted after a report suggested he ordered human growth hormones from an internet pharmacy?
"I never tested positive. It was a joke," he says. "I felt like I was hung out to dry. I wasn't protected. There was a whole lot of miscommunication.
"I've done steroids. They're something I had to do. I've had three knee surgeries and the doctor put me on steroids. I had to take certain things. But as far as ordering things from the black market, I didn't do that. I look the same now as I did when I was 25. I've never been a freaky athlete. I'm an entertainer, not a bodybuilder."
Booker T has now settled into TNA, where there's certainly much less wear and tear on his body ... and less time on the road.
"I feel great," he says. "I don't want to be out on the road 200-plus days a year."
With so much to offer, he seems like a natural to wear the wrestling trunks and be doing Spineroonis well onto the other side of 50. But now 42, Booker T says the end to his career is in sight.
"My timeline was 40. I said I would retire when I was 40," he says. "But when I got to 40, I still felt good. The website was blowing up, fans didn't want me to retire.
"But it's not far in the future, I don't plan on wrestling past 45. Really, the sky's the limit for me. I really don't believe wrestling is my true calling. I want to be remembered for something good.
"I want to be a mayor.
"And I want to play golf on the PGA Seniors Tour when I turn 50. I shot a 76 a month ago. My handicap is 10, but I've only been playing for four years. I've got eight years to work on it. I need to work on my short game."
WWE CANADIAN TOUR
WWE, with a western Canada tour in its plans for this fall, will swing through the Maritimes, Quebec and Ontario in May. The tour opens May 2 (RAW) in Montreal, with stops in Hamilton May 3 (RAW); Moncton May 3 (ECW, Smackdown!); Fredericton (afternoon show) and Saint John (evening) May 4 (ECW, Smackdown!); Barrie May 4 (RAW); RAW live TV May 5 in Toronto; and ECW, Smackdown! live TV May 6 in London. Most notably, Ottawa gets skipped on the tour.