Mayfield Saga of ’09 May Bring Drug Policy Changes in ’10


As the Mayfield v. NASCAR case continues on into the new decade, new drug testing policy changes may be on the way.

A statement from NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston regarding possible changes:

“Any of those changes, if we have any, we’ll announce those as the new season begins. This is the part of the season where we’re finalizing our [policies]. & We will always update policies and procedures any time there is an opportunity to improve them. I don’t think you’re going to see anything radical.”

I sure hope we see something. Need I remind you how the current policy works?

- NASCAR tests the drivers it wants to, when it wants to. Randomly.

- NASCAR sends the samples to a crappy lab.

- If the results come back “positive” for a driver, NASCAR suspends that driver indefinitely.

- If that driver makes a statement telling the general public why he believes the test came back the way it did, NASCAR fires back in a harsh manner.

- That driver takes NASCAR to court to get an injunction to overturn the suspension.

- If the injunction is granted, NASCAR will make sure that no team lets that driver race until they can get the injunction reversed.

- If the injunction is reversed, then both sides will continue to fight in court for at least a year, or until the driver goes broke; whichever happens first.

So yeah, I think some changes are necessary. How’s this for a new policy:

-  Every week, if a driver crashes out of a race, they are tested for meth, pot, or whatever else makes your brain go crazy; If they finish in the top 10, they are tested for performance enhancers.

- The samples will be sent to Labcorp, the most trusted name in lab testing.

- If a driver’s results are negative, leave them alone that week.

- If a driver’s results are positive, tough cookies. Suspend ‘em.

- If that driver tries to run his mouth, let ‘em. He’ll just wind up looking like an idiot, and NASCAR will look smart because they did their testing through a trusty, independent lab.

Which policy is better?

Tags: Jeremy Mayfield NASCAR

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net Marc

    “- NASCAR sends the samples to a crappy lab.”

    And your proof is what?

    “- If the results come back “positive” for a driver, NASCAR suspends that driver indefinitely.”

    You skipped a step. 1. random test given if positive 2. second test is done on the B sample, if also positive driver is suspended.

    “- If that driver makes a statement telling the general public why he believes the test came back the way it did, NASCAR fires back in a harsh manner.”

    Quotes of said “harsh manner?”

    “- If the injunction is granted, NASCAR will make sure that no team lets that driver race until they can get the injunction reversed.”

    Other than NASCAR enforcing the section of the drug policy, i.e. that Mayfield successfully complete a rehabilitation program, how did they keep teams from hiring him?

    And your remedies are…

    “- Every week, if a driver crashes out of a race, they are tested for meth, pot, or whatever else makes your brain go crazy; If they finish in the top 10, they are tested for performance enhancers.”

    So by this “policy” you clearly believe only drivers that crash and those that finish in the top ten are capable of using drugs.

    Do I have that correct? And if so how does that explain drivers such as Shame Hmiel who was far from finishing in the top ten or was tested after a crash yet popped positive?

    “- The samples will be sent to Labcorp, the most trusted name in lab testing.”

    And your proof of this is what?

    “- If a driver’s results are negative, leave them alone that week”….. “- If a driver’s results are positive, tough cookies. Suspend ‘em.”

    Umm, that’s no change from the current policy.

  • hopper

    So basically what you’re saying is, you don’t like my policy?

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net Marc

    Very perceptive of you Hopper.

    I also note you made no attempt at correcting any and all errors I may have made.

    Never one to shut off debate I’ll be glad to entertain your thoughts on how your policy can be effective if you only test those that crash and finish in the top ten of a race.

    You might also want to explain why those in the top ten get tested for “performance enhancers” only and not “meth, pot, or whatever else makes your brain go crazy?”

    We all know Mayfield claims to be taking Adderall and that drug is what caused him to pop positive for amphetamine.

    If that true, which seems increasingly unlikely but still debatable, Adderall has been proven in a court of law to have contributed to a high school football players death.

    15-year-old Max Gilpin. Expert witnesses testified “that it appeared a combination of heat, the use of the dietary supplement creatine and attention deficit disorder drug Adderall, and being ill were the main factors that contributed to Gilpin’s death, which they called an accident.”

    That raises this exit question for you: Given the warning labels on the drug and now this expert testimony in a court of law that a jury agreed with should Adderall be one drug that gets on the banned list?

    • hopper

      But you didn’t answer MY question.

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net Marc

    Hopper, whose only response in this thread is this… “So basically what you’re saying is, you don’t like my policy?”

    Excuse me? Yes I did, not only that but outlined exactly what I thought was wrong with it.

    Or perhaps your question came in the form of a digital version of “disappearing ink” and I failed to see it before it did.

    • hopper

      So, you don’t like my policy, and yet you say it’s just like NASCAR’s policy. Does that mean you don’t like NASCAR’s policy? Because that’s what it looks like…

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net Marc

    Geesh hopper, frankly I had to go back a reread what I wrote to make sure of some of what you claim is anything close to fact.

    Nice try, the closest thing to what you assert is this: “Umm, that’s no change from the current policy,” that was in response to a SINGLE part of your “policy” and contained in comment No. one.

    Again, nice try.

    And again, where is this alleged question that I failed to answer and asked for in comment 4?

    In answer to your question you actually did ask, as opposed to dreaming up, yes I have little to no problem with their policy. The only change I’d make is having a larger group of drivers take a random sample each week.

    As it is the small sample in use has caught over a dozen drivers/crew members since the new policy started. I suspect the number possibly be a bit larger if larger numbers were sampled.

  • Steve

    Just love the attempts to downgrade a serious statement of how to improve a policy that needs improvement! Marc, is there anything anyone suggests (besides you, of course) that has any positive points? Yes, you bring up some reasonable questions, but could you suggest your ideas to make the policy better? It is not exactly perfect and infallible. But at least Hopper is brave enough to start somewhere! Let us others propose improvements to the existing and proposed plans.

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net Marc

    Steve “Just love the attempts to downgrade a serious statement of how to improve a policy that needs improvement!”

    How serious can it be if what’s suggested for a testing policy only tests those that crash and finish in the top ten of a race.

    Moreover, those in the top ten he suggests won’t be tested for ““meth, pot, or whatever else makes your brain go crazy,” only those that crash out of a race get tested for those things.

    I’ll ask you the same question, Shane Hmiel had many top tens but never won a NASCAR event, under Hoppers policy he never would have been tested for performance enhancers.

    Additionally Aaron Fike was suspended for self admitted heroin usage. He had a single top ten in 52 Cup events with 4 in 12 Truck events, with zero wins in his career.

    Under Hopper’s policy Fike’s chance of ever being caught, unless busted in a parking lot with his girlfriend and his “works” as he was, would be slim to none.

    That’s not a policy any clear minded person can support. Perhaps you do, if so explain why, Hopper can’t seem to do it.

  • Steve

    Hi Marc!
    I believe somewhere in my last message was an invitation for you to propose something positive! I know you have it in you! I really do! The fact that you go into the details of Hopper’s proposal to expose its weaknesses lets me KNOW that you have better ideas. Let’s work together to make it better, not just detail what is WRONG with the other guy’s ideas. How’s that sound?

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net Marc

    Steve, I believe in comment number seven I did state what I would change.

    More drivers/crew members should be tested each week other than that I see no glaring errors in the policy.

    Some have suggested a more detailed list of banned drugs should be available, I could care less. Fact of the matter is I lived under the U.S. Military’s drug policy for 20 plus years, and was an integral part of the system as a drug councilor.

    The Navy, or the other branches of service don’t publish an extensive list either, other than what is illegal in the general public.

    The military and NASCAR has the same general problem with drugs, those that use them illegally find new formulas, new type of drugs etc almost at the drop of a hat, to have one set in stone list is problematical as it would have to be constantly updated. Not that it couldn’t be but it adds to the problem.

    That said, perhaps you should review comment number three as it relates to Adderall and ask you, should that drug be banned for use of all drivers and crew members?

    I think it should be both for the well known cautions that are on the drugs label but now there’s evidence Adderall in combination of a high heat environment can lead to serious complications if not death.

  • Steve

    Thank you for your reasoned and knowledgeable ideas relative to improving the testing process. I totally agree that a larger percentage of participants of all specialties should be tested. I certainly have less knowledge of what specific drugs have bad effects. My oversimplified point of view is that like filters that are available for the internet, we should have a list of APPROVED drugs, and that people on the teams could petition to have drugs not on the list approved on a need, case-by-case basis. Like Hooper, this is off the top of my head and I am sure there are flaws with my idea. Maybe your expertise could be a resource for the Nascar drug counselors.

  • http://fullthrottle.cranialcavity.net Marc

    Well as I previously said, I couldn’t care less about a long and published list of drugs.

    In general over the counter drugs are approved for use, there’s no reason for them to be listed. The catch is those over the counter drugs that contain substances that can and WILL cause problems [see below].

    Those drugs as in Mayfield’s case can pop positive and is why when it happens the person is asked about any and all drugs, prescription or not, they have been taking. At that point a second test, the much talked about “B” sample is tested. If you’ll recall after the “A” sample was tested he was asked if he had been using a Vicks Inhaler. He said no.

    l-methamphetamine is the active ingredient in inhalers like Vicks. dextromethamphetamine or d-methamphetamine is what we know as meth and what he popped positive for… three times, twice by Aegis and a third for an independent lab.

    To clarify the Military comment above, they have used a random testing procedure [a Commander can order a command wide test or one for probable cause] since the early eighties and have had very little problems with the program. In fact it went a long way to clear out a butt load [about 10 to 15 percent of the force] of druggies when the program first started.

    As to the list, in Mayfield’s case he had one of his crew members pop positive in Feb, 2009. By all accounts I’ve read a list of banned drugs was given to crew members, but not drivers.

    Given that, he’s had easy access via his crew member to that list. Granted he had no reason to look at it however given all the hoopla after the new testing regime started, and centered on that list, one would think he may have been a bit more curious.

    On Adderall, in 2005 the Canadian Gov pulled the drug off the market after reports surfaced of sudden deaths in pediatric patients. Of the 20 deaths reported in patients taking Adderall, 12 were from strokes, and two were in children.

    Later that year they allowed the drug back on the market albeit with stringer warning labels, in Feb the following year the US FDA did the same.

    In fact the FDA went as far as the law provided adding what’s called a “black box” warning on all amphetamines, including Adderall and Adderall XR, and reads as follows:

    “AMPHETAMINES HAVE A HIGH POTENTIAL FOR ABUSE. ADMINISTRATION OF AMPHETAMINES FOR PROLONGED PERIODS OF TIME MAY LEAD TO DRUG DEPENDENCE AND MUST BE AVOIDED. PARTICULAR ATTENTION SHOULD BE PAID TO THE POSSIBILITY OF SUBJECTS OBTAINING AMPHETAMINES FOR NONTHERAPEUTIC USE OR DISTRIBUTION TO OTHERS, AND THE DRUGS SHOULD BE PRESCRIBED OR DISPENSED SPARINGLY.

    MISUSE OF AMPHETAMINE MAY CAUSE SUDDEN DEATH AND SERIOUS CARDIOVASCULAR ADVERSE EVENTS.”