Archive for January 7th, 2011

Steelers’ Wheel: Pittsburgh Media Are Mum on the Connections of Pitt Med Center, Pittsburgh Steelers, and WWE Scandals

The great city of Pittsburgh has much to be proud of. In the upcoming National Football League playoffs, the Pittsburgh Steelers may well win their record-extending seventh franchise Super Bowl (and their chances will be better if quarterback Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t get caught raping another woman over the next month). The Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby is, simply, the most magnificent hockey player on the planet; let’s hope he makes a full and speedy recovery from his current concussion. And the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center is renowned for its research and care.

Unfortunately, there’s another story out there that isn’t so nice: some UPMC doctors have come under heavy fire for some of their outside work – with the NFL and its culture of head injuries, with World Wrestling Entertainment and its culture of multifaceted deaths, including from head injuries; and with a supplement company that seemingly doesn’t qualify as “Industry” under the medical center’s new-and-improved conflict-of-interest code.

So far, not a word about these controversies from any major Pittsburgh media. (Last month Pittsburgh City Paper, an alternative weekly, ran a cover story on the WWE talent wellness program, which managed to whiff on every hard-hitting angle of it.)

Ladies and gentlemen, here’s a weekend reading list:

“Muchnick Flashback: WWE Docs Governed by ‘Private’ Pitt Med Center Ethics Policy,” 12/14/10,

“New Threats From WWE Lawyer Jerry McDevitt,” 12/17/10,

“Knocking Heads Together: WWE Is the Next Frontier of Sports  Concussion Reform,” 12/21/10,

“Pitt Med Center Doctors’ Supplement Company and WWE Ties Skirt Ethics Policy,” 1/4/11,

“Dr. Joseph Maroon’s Disturbing Pattern of Misstatements,” 1/5/11,

“Dear Senator Udall: Help Coordinate Concussion and Steroid Investigations,” 1/5/11,


Irv Muchnick

More Cat-And-Mouse Website Games With WWE Doctor-Huckster Bryan Donohue

This blog has criticized World Wrestling Entertainment’s wellness program cardiovascular screening for not noticing wrestler Eddie “Umaga” Fatu’s enlarged heart before he died of a heart attack in December 2009. WWE employs University of Pittsburgh Medical Center cardiologist Bryan Donohue (as well as UPMC neurologist Joseph Maroon as the WWE medical director).

I’ve also criticized Donohue and Maroon for their promotion of a supplement whose company is partly owned by the former and whose research is licensed by a company partly owned by the latter.

For details, see Wrestling Babylon Blog LLP, passim.

Puckish sort that I am, I also publicized the dormant beta home pages of Dr. Donohue’s website. When he took down the “sample” links, which obviously were submitted by a professional web designer, I published screen prints.

But now I notice that the beta pages are still on the web — they’re just not linked from, which greets visitors with the new language “Coming Soon!”

You can still type into your browser bar and view:


Irv Muchnick

Irv’s Tweets

January 2011