SBD/Issue 162/Leagues & Governing Bodies

NASCAR Suspends Mayfield For Violating Substance-Abuse Policy

Substance Used By Mayfield
Has Not Been Revealed
NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield was "among three people suspended immediately and indefinitely Saturday for violating NASCAR's substance-abuse policy," according to Jim Utter of the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER. All three had "taken part in a random drug test administered May 1" during race weekend at Richmond Int'l Raceway. NASCAR officials "would not identify the substance Mayfield was using," but NASCAR VP/Corporate Communications Jim Hunter said that it "was not alcohol." Hunter: "It was a substance banned by our policy but I would not personally characterize it as performance-enhancing." In a statement, Mayfield said that he "believed a combination of a prescribed medicine and an over-the-counter medication 'reacted together' to result in a positive test." Mayfield: "My doctor and I are working with both Dr. (David) Black and NASCAR to resolve this matter." Utter noted the suspension "came as a shock throughout NASCAR." There have been a "handful of crew members who have failed since random testing was instituted this season, but Mayfield is the first driver" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 5/10). In Orlando, Tania Ganguli noted Mayfield was "tested twice" at Richmond on May 1 as "once a positive test returns, the person tested can ask for a second sample to be tested." Mayfield "did so and the second test returned positive, also." Both tests were "administered on the same day" (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 5/9).

MAKING A PIT STOP: Mayfield said that he "will announce an interim owner and a temporary replacement driver as early as next week." Mayfield "cannot go through an appeal process, just a reinstatement process." He said in his statement, "As both a team owner and a driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, I have immense respect for the enforcement policies NASCAR has in place" (SCENEDAILY.com, 5/9). NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson said NASCAR “is not fooling around with this thing, they made that message crystal clear” (“SportsCenter,” ESPN, 5/10).

EXPERT OPINION: Black said, "In my many years of experience, I have never seen a violation like this due to the combination of over-the-counter or prescription products." Black said that there is "'no way a driver would be in violation' for using common cold and allergy medications as directed" (USA TODAY, 5/11).

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