Saturday NASCAR suspended Jeremy Mayfield owner and driver of the #41 Toyota Cup team, Tony Martin a crewmember of the #34 Cup team, and Ben Williams a crewmember of the #16 Nationwide team for failing their random drug tests.
NASCAR didn’t reveal what substance that Mayfield is accused of using. NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter did, however, say that it wan’t an alcohol related substance.
Mayfield has made a statement to the public. In part Mayfield states, “I believe that a combination of prescribed medicine and over the counter medicine reacted together and resulted in a positive drug test. My doctor and I are working along with Dr. Black and NASCAR to resolve this matter.”
However, NASCAR disputes Mayfield’s explanation. #41 Jeremy Mayfield’s assertion that the use of two allergy medicines led him to run afoul of NASCAR’s drug policy is not plausible the person in charge of running the program told USA Today (usatoday). “What we have today is clear violation of the policy”, said Dr. David Black, whose Tennessee-based Aegis Labs conducts NASCAR’s random testing program. “In my many years of experience, I have never seen a violation like this due to over-the-counter prescription products.” Black, citing NASCAR policy, declined to specify what caused Mayfield to test positive, saying it was “a drug of concern”. Black said, “there’s no way a driver would be in violation” for using cold and allergy medications as directed!
NASCAR doesn’t have a set list of banned substances. However, the drivers were warned at the beginning of the season that they would be screened for steroids, amphetamines, and recreational drugs.
Mayfield must now complete a treatment program before he is allowed to return to racing. “If that treatment program is successfully completed, then that competitor may seek reinstatement”, said a NASCAR spokesman.
As a side note, NASCAR’s first violator to this year’s substance abuse ruling was Paul Chodora. Mr Chodora was a crewmember of, you guessed it, the #41 Mayfield Motorsports Toyota! He is no longer employed with Mayfield Motorsports.
Every man has his day in court, but it surely doesn’t look good for Jeremy Mayfield. I say that with the knowledge of Dr. Black’s comments referencing the over-the-counter allergy medication and the extreme unlikliness of Mayfield’s account of how he tested positive. If Mayfield is guilty, it puts a HUGE black eye on the sport!
What are your thoughts? Participate in the poll and leave your comments via the comments tab at the end of this post!