Thursday, May 14, 2009

Tracking Jeremy Mayfield In The Media (Updated - Shana's Statement)


Updated: Well, here we go. NASCAR's chief of its new drug testing program has directly commented on Mayfield's assertions that allergy medication causing him to fail the random test in Richmond. What Dr. Black says is not good:

"What we have is a clear violation of policy," said Dr. 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 the combination of over-the-counter or prescription products."

Black, citing NASCAR policy, declined to specify what caused Mayfield to test positive, saying it was "a drug of concern."


Well, this puts the media spotlight on several TV networks. First, SPEED for teasing coverage of the 6PM press conference on RaceDay and then putting a joking Hermie Sadler and three drivers on the air for a very long but completely pointless interview about the upcoming All-Star race...on SPEED. The network never covered the press conference live or asked follow-up questions.

Reporter Wendy Venturini offered a live report afer the press conference where she reviewed the details. Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Wallace then offered ill-advised comments on this issue. What SPEED should have been doing was switching over to "news" mode and making this a topic immediately. It never happened.

Sunday night, SPEED offered Wind Tunnel. Host Dave Despain had Kenny Schrader in the studio who declined to address the issue. Despain fancies himself a journalist, but failed miserably on this issue. Indy and open-wheel dominated once Despain and Schrader were done with a Denny Hamlin interview.

Tuesday afternoon it was Shannon Spake addressing this issue while hosting NASCAR Now . You can read about what happened on the new post at the top of the main page. David Newton and Andy Petree offered their comments.

Wednesday, Shana Mayfield issued a statement but did not appear on-camera during NASCAR Now. Shana confirmed she will be the interim owner, JJ Yeley will drive and that Jeremy will release a statement on Friday. The saga continues.

Here is the original TDP article from Saturday:

The news broke on Saturday that Jeremy Mayfield had been suspended from NASCAR for violating the drug policy put in place for this season by the sanctioning body.

In the new world of drug testing, there are things that both upset and confuse fans of the sport involved. In this case, NASCAR spokesman Jim Hunter read a prepared statement and only ruled-out alcohol as a substance that may be involved.

This type of statement is designed to retain the privacy of the individual tested and only advise the media of the resulting actions. Hunter stayed within the established privacy guidelines.

Unfortunately, the decades of drug abuse by other professional sports leagues have set a precedent in the media where this type of announcement is concerned. It also does not help to have several drivers in the past who have been suspended prior to this policy for addiction to several types of illegal substances.

What the media knows right now is basically nothing. That makes lots of reporting types crazy and their Internet stories reflect this frustration. Mayfield himself quickly released a statement addressing the issue. Here are some excerpts:

"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. In my case, I believe that the combination of a prescribed medicine and an over the counter medicine reacted together and resulted in a positive drug test. My Doctor and I are working with both Dr. Black and NASCAR to resolve this matter."

So, on Sunday morning we at TDP are watching the NASCAR media struggle with this first suspension of a driver under the new testing policy.

Online stories range from factual accounts to suggestions of Mayfield as an illegal drug user. One quick search of the news section of Google reveals over one thousand stories already covering the globe with the Mayfield suspension news.

Here at TDP, we are interested to see if Mayfield surfaces on either Wind Tunnel on SPEED Sunday night or the NASCAR Now program on ESPN2 Monday afternoon.

As a fan, please feel free to leave your comment about the media treatment of Mayfield and where you may have seen, heard or read about this issue. Just click the comments button below to add your post. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when posting.

133 comments:

haus20 said...

With so little information available, I am withholding my judgment on the situation. In this case, I find it plausible that it was a reaction between legal medicines. Obviously we shall see. I am hoping for the best and hope that this is all a big misunderstanding.

Obviously anyone is capable of using drugs, but out of all of the Cup drivers out there, Jeremy would not have been someone whom I would have thought would be caught up in something like this. Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

I sincerely hope the situation is as Mayfield described it.

He has gone through a lot of hardship--admittedly, much of itself-imposed--but I truly want to see him regain the glory he was beginning to experience a few years back.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 1:33PM,

That is exactly the issue. Suppose it is completly like Mayfield described?

This is a moment in time for the sometimes unrestrained NASCAR media to control itself.

If they learned anything from the Ron Hornaday Jr. stories that many of them published prior to knowing the reality of that situation, they should hold off on this topic.

We will see...

Anonymous said...

We were talking about this last night. I guess I'm thinking that the last thing NASCAR wants to do is suspend any Cup driver - especially a well known longtime driver who still has a lot of loyal fans. That's Brian France's worst nightmare!

So for NASCAR itself to have announced this suspension makes me think they checked everything backwards and forwards that they could possibly check before taking it public.

According to the statements at the news conference, Jeremy's first sample failed, and he requested to have the B sample tested, which was his right. So in between testing the A and B samples, wouldn't Jeremy have had ample time to explain what the specific medicines that he took were, so NASCAR's testing lab could look for false positives specific to those legal medications? And if so, wouldn't NASCAR have taken every precaution to check to see that the B sample, which also failed, wasn't tainted by a false positive?

Of course they would have. I think if NASCAR could have kept this quiet, it would have done so. Jeremy was a really good example of a small team surviving against the big teams. No way they want to let that go - and anger his loyal fans - unless they have to.

Sounds like this Dr. Black will also be somebody TV needs to talk to later, since it sounds like only he can recommend reinstatement. If he doesn't reinstate Jeremy very soon and instead requires some sort of rehab before reinstatement, then I think we'll have our answer, even if the substance is never revealed.

Ken said...

I hope Jeremy is right and he can prove his statements. If he turns out to be right, NA$CAR's credibility would be damaged even more with it already at a very low level. I don't take anything NA$CAR says at face value.

stricklinfan82 said...

The confidentiality of NASCAR's drug test results certainly puts both sides in a very difficult situation.

Barring an overturning of his suspension, if Jeremy Mayfield is truly innocent (as I hope he is), there are always going to be fans, media members, and potential future sponsors that are going to doubt him. You're always going to doubters that suspect that Mayfield is lying about the medication defense, and figure he's only doing so because he knows there will be no reprecussions because NASCAR can't come out and publicly say "Jeremy is lying, he tested positive for ______, which over the counter medicine could not have possibly triggered a false positive for." You're also going to have all kinds of media speculation through anonymous sources, some of which is going to paint an inaccurate picture and wrongly convict Mayfield of blatant wrongdoing in the court of public opinion.

On the flip side, if the suspension is upheld because Mayfield is actually guilty of serious recreational drug use, the confidentiality agreement is going to cause NASCAR to be unjustly smeared by the public. You're going to have doubters that think NASCAR is hiding something and their drug testing is fatally flawed, when in actuality Jeremy is the liar and is only taking advantage of the fact that the confidentiality agreement can't allow NASCAR to publicly defend themselves. If Mayfield is actually guilty you're also going to have the same anonymous sources feeding inaccurate information to the media that wrongly paints NASCAR as "the bad guy" to the public and creates a public outcry among some against the innocent NASCAR sanctioning body and in favor of a guilty, lying driver/owner.

I understand the premise of the confidentiality, but particularly in this sport when the public image of both sides that is hanging in the balance has an extremely enormous effect on millions and millions of dollars in future sponsorship revenue, I could definitely see the argument behind making all the facts behind the positive test public knowledge.

That way the media wouldn't have to go through all this speculating and the fans and the CEO's of multi-million dollar companies wouldn't have to choose sides based strictly on media speculation and their own guesses. Everyone would know for sure exactly what went on and who was actually at fault here.

NASCAR Jacob said...

The suspension just got on the Deadspin site - title "Prescribed Medicines" Getting Some Bad Press this Week.

IMO,
1. If the folks at NASCAR messed up the first suspension of a driver under its new policy, they can forget about being taken seriously. Ever. Especially if they suspended someone for taking allergy medication??? Harvick, Stewart and all those guys will raise you know what and the entire enterprise will fall apart.

(Which is why I don't think NASCAR messed it up, but we'll see.)

2. Carl Edwards takes Claritin. He doesn't just endorse it. He's allowed to take a form of it. If Claritin can cause problems when mixed with something else, what happens if Carl fails a test. Plus the bigtime Claritin sponsors are probably ticked beyond belief that their product is being mentioned by ESPN reporters in connection with "failed NASCAR drug test".

3. This suspension wasn't leaked by the media. ESPN didn't leak stories of drug use like they did with Fike or Hornaday where NASCAR had to respond. This was all NASCAR announcing news...so you gotta wonder. At least I do. But good luck Jeremy.

BP said...

In 1972, US swimmer Rick Dumont won the 400 meter freestyle at the Olympics. He had that medal stripped from him when he failed a drug test.

It turned out that his urine sample contained an amphetamine. According to reports this amphetamine(ephedrine)was either in his prescription asthma medication which he had duly listed on his pre-Olympic entry form or in an over-the-counter cold medicine that he took, with the permission of his team doctor, to relieve asthma symptoms.

Either way US Olympic Committee officials failed to compare his medicine against the list of prohibited drugs. Taking a substance proscribed by the rules in place at the time did not absolve this young athlete.

Perhaps something similar occurred in Jeremy Mayfield's case. Both then and now the competitors knew or should have known the rules. They agreed to compete under those rules. Rick Dumont never got his medal back. Will Jeremy Mayfield gain reinstatement? Only time and circumstances will tell.

Gymmie said...

This is all very disturbing to me. If Jeremy is innocent as he claims (OTC plus 'scripts) it seems that there should be a way to offset that vs. actual recreation drugs.

Don't they ask that drivers keep them updated on anything they're taking so they have a note as to what they're taking for false positives or can let them know that drug X has an ingredient that while legal is on our list of banned substances.

As anon 1:33 said, Jeremy has done things on his own in the past that were stupid and burned bridges. But for this time I feel a bit sorry for him especially when he fired that man earlier in the season for drugs. It seems that even he wouldn't be stupid enough to do illegal drugs knowing from an owner standpoint how it all works.

I hope there's a way for the truth to come out :(

Anonymous said...

Yes, drivers are asked to inform NASCAR about medicines they are taking. The Cousin Carl and Claritin example is mentioned above in NASCAR Jake's posting. Before random testing began, Jon Wood was taking something very strong for ADD, I forgot what it was, and there were rumors about his weight loss and manner in interviews. But he had informed NASCAR about it when he started taking it so he got no penalty or testing, and he had already switched to another medicine by the time he was interviewed about it.

Jeff Gordon is supposed to be getting some injections in his back soon. I'm sure his doctor checked with NASCAR to make double/triple sure the injections were approved or Jeff wouldn't get them.

am19psu said...

I think the most interesting media related thing for me is the comparison of coverage between Manny Ramirez' failed test, who got rightly vilified by the media, and the somewhat skeptical approach taken towards Mayfield's positive test.

Is it because we know the drug Manny was taking, which was clearly used for a PED-cycle, and we don't know for which drug Mayfield tested positive?

Is it because there have been drug whispers for 15 years and accusations for about 8 in baseball, while drug abuse is relatively new in NASCAR?

Is it because Mayfield is somewhat beloved as an underdog, yet Manny is disliked from his behavior in Boston?

I don't have the answer, but the difference in coverage is interesting.

Anonymous said...

I don't presume to know the substance in question. But - prescription drugs by themselves can be abused and may be on NASCAR's banned substance list if certain dosage levels are in the body. Brett Favre was treated for addition to prescription drugs; drugs don't have to be illegal or recreational to be abused.

I do see a difference in treatment between Manny and Mayfield but I see even more disparity between the treatment of Mayfield and the treatment of all the crew members who have already been suspended under this policy. I don't remember anyone standing up for them, questioning their suspensions, or wanting to know what substance they supposedly abused, including the two suspended with Mayfield.

Jimbacca said...

I'm interested to see how its covered.

An Anon with a good point. True people don't go out of their way to worry about crew members. But in a harsh reality... When you watch a movie do you worry about the extras? Plus Jeremy's story this year has been rather compelling. Yes he has gone beyond burning bridges, can even say he blew them sky high on the two high profile teams. But his story of trying to go at it on his own with very little funding has people's eyes. Yes there are a few owner drivers. But his story is more like Robbie G's where they are in control of it and don't have others running it for them and they are trying to race not just S & P like some of the new teams.

Anonymous said...

I read many tweets that a driver failed the drug test. I thought the media did a great job trying to discourage the Twitter community from speculating about the driver. They tweeted what Nascar stated but it seemed they were very responsible. I thought most people were encouraged to drop the subject and talk about the race. I hope that there will be a valid reason for this.

Vicky D said...

I sure hope everything comes out good in the end for Jeremy. I am a big fan and want the best for him and his new team. If Nascar's policy is only black or white, and Mayfield had taken a combo of two medications and they find a solution for this suspension, then Nascar should change their policy. I especially wish he is vindicated and races soon.

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Matt said...

The difference in coverage between Ramirez and Mayfield is explained easily. Let's just say there were two headlines in the sports page or ticker items on ESPN as follows:

"Ramirez suspended for drug use"

"Mayfield suspended for drug use"

In the first case, the average sports fan might wonder if it was Manny, Hanley, or possibly Alexi.

In the second, they would likely not know what sport he participated in.

Now run these:

"Manny suspended for drug use"

"Jeremy suspended for drug use"

The average sports fan would almost certainly know who was refered to in the first case. In the second case they would probably think "Jeremy Giambi is still playing?" if they attached a last name to it at all.

One suspendee is Manny, one is Jeremy Mayfield. That's the difference in coverage.

darbar said...

A zero tolerance policy can be a bit of a problem. I can agree that zero tolerance should be applied if the person is found to have actually consumed recreational drugs or alcohol, but this same policy should not be applied when someone tests positive for taking prescribed medication and said medication mixes negatively to produce what's basically a false positive. Any person has the right and personal responsibility to maintain their health, so exceptions must be made. Personally, I have severe asthma and allergies for which I take large doses of Prednisone. I know that Prednisone, mixed with other legal over the counter medications, can produce false positives in drug testing. If I worked at a place that has zero tolerance, and I tested positive, would it be fair that I were fired or suspended? A person must be allowed to clear their names with regards to this issue. It would be a totally different case if Mr Mayfield's test showed that he were sparking Doobies, shooting heroin or smoking crack. But Nascar must provide a way for someone who tests positive under unusual circumstances to clear their names and reputations.

Razz said...

Frankly, I'm disturbed by the attitudes of the fans and commentators. Whether as blatant as anonymous above who flatly says Mayfield "got what he deserved" or stricklinfan's more reserved post which can be summed up as "Mayfield is a liar."

We seem to have a new religion these days where people worship the newfound infallibility of technology or 'authority' figures which is extremely disturbing after the debacle of government lies leading up to the Iraq invasion and the numerous stories of law enforcement (i.e. FBI) lab cockups.

For starters, we have no idea what exactly he was supposedly banned for. For another, There is no list of banned substances in NASCAR.

Let me repeat that. There is NO list of 'proscribed substances. The official policy reads: “violation of the policy can be triggered with the use of any drug or medication if NASCAR believes it has been abused or misused.” (Emphasis mine.)

Here's how NASCAR explains it, according to the Roanoke Times:

"We think we have the broadest policy in all of sports," said Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's vice president of racing operations. "The reason we don't have a list is we believe that a list is restrictive. As you've seen with a lot of other leagues, the policy is constantly changing. We know that there's new drugs out there every day. By having a broad policy that doesn't list anything, we feel like we can test for any substance that may be abused, no different than our policy today."

Further, whatever substance it was, it wasn't detected on the day of a race. According to NASCAR vice president Jim Hunter who announced the ban, the test was "on the first day of the race weekend."

So, what we know is that Mayfield tested positive for some unknown substance. NASCAR can choose to ban drivers and crew members for testing positive for any substance at all, and Mayfield's test wasn't even administered on a race day.

Hardly sounds like an open and shut case when you consider the facts, does it? I'd go so far as to suggest there may be a lawsuit and a potential big black eye for NASCAR over this when all is said and done.

-Razz

am19psu said...

Matt,

I think you might have missed my point. I was talking about the tone of the coverage of two positive tests. I'm not sure if I communicated that well.

Anonymous said...

Do people honestly believe its just Hunter, Helton, or France coming up with what constitutes a failure all on their own, without consulting medical experts?

For NASCAR to suspend a driver over a test, they have rock solid expert evidence to say what comes up in a test is abuse.

The Tour de France and Olympics now keeps samples forever, just in case there is a new test for a banned substance that isn't on any list today.

Anonymous said...

If Mayfield is innocent, he should just come right out and say what medications it was he was taking. Why not just say (for example) "Hey, I was taking some antibiotics and advil and it gave me a false negative" -- or is it more likely that Mayfield doesn't want to say anything that can discredit him, as these tests for recreational drugs rarely turn up false positives.

Also, there is a hair-based test you can take for drugs that can be used and are very reliable, even for long periods of time after the substance was taken, because of the nature of hair proteins. Why doesn't Mayfield submit to a hair test today to clear his name?

I know you are innocent until proven guilty, but I am going to assume that Mayfield was proven guilty otherwise NASCAR wouldn't have acted as they did. You don't suspend a guy and destroy his reputation on a questionable result.

Anonymous said...

One more comment - I think in NASCAR you have to assume someone is guilty on a test like this until proven innocent. You simply cannot be sitting on a positive narcotics test (for example) on ANY driver and then say to yourself "Well, maybe this isn't true - let's just let him race on Saturday until we find out."

SORRY - but you can't take that risk with all the other drivers. What if in this hypothetical the first positive IS true? You are going to turn that guy loose behind the wheel of a racecar when he might be hopped up?

Sorry, I think NASCAR did the right thing. You can't let anyone who takes a positive also take a green flag, it is too risky.

Dot said...

Why does NASCAR have to be all cloak and dagger about what the drug is? If they can't say, why hasn't Jeremy said what it is? No matter what happens, Jeremy will be stained.

Maybe the zero tolerance part needs to be reexamined.

I'll echo some others and say why did they have to announce it on Sat? Jeremy didn't even make the race. This would have been a good buzz story for Tue/Wed, the slow news days.

Dot said...

I missed the first part of WT. Did Dave say anything about Jeremy?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Despain treated the story fairly but it was apparent that he had no additional information at all.

This is a tough one for SPEED. We saw Hermie Sadler on RaceDay joking with three drivers while NASCAR VP Jim Hunter was announcing the suspensions.

If there was ever a show that should have tried to get Jeremy in person, it was Wind Tunnel.

Monday should bring the ESPN feature show NASCAR Now at 5PM. Remember, Ed Hinton and Rick Craven are both on the program.

No additional news updates as of Sunday night.

JD

Lesley said...

With the news of Kevin Grubb.. I hope everyone can take a step back on how this may effect Jeremys future...Unless he is doing crack cocain..or herion..Lets give him a chance!!!

stricklinfan82 said...

Razz said...
Frankly, I'm disturbed by the attitudes of the fans and commentators. Whether as blatant as anonymous above who flatly says Mayfield "got what he deserved" or stricklinfan's more reserved post which can be summed up as "Mayfield is a liar."


Razz,

I take great offense to you inaccurately summarizing my comments as "Mayfield is a liar". I would kindly request that you please re-read my post and reconsider those comments that were directed at me.

My post simply summed up the viewpoint that the confidentiality of the testing causes problems for both sides, and I could see the argument for lifting this confidentiality clause.

I did not and will not defend either side in this argument. I carefully laid out both "what if" scenarios, and how regardless of who is in the right, that party going to be unfairly scarred by this confidentiality and the subsequent widespread speculation that will be done by the media and other onlookers as a result....

1.) IF Jeremy is telling the truth and NASCAR is actually in the wrong here....

barring his suspension being overturned, certain onlookers and media reports will unfairly label Jeremy as a liar and his reputation will be unjustly ruined forever, which would be COMPLETELY UNFAIR.

2.) IF Jeremy is not telling the truth and NASCAR is actually in the right here....

certain onlookers and media reports will unfairly label NASCAR as liars and forever destroy the credibility of their completely effective drug testing program, which would also be COMPLETELY UNFAIR

I'm sorry if you or anyone else misread my remarks and interpreted them as me playing judge or jury in this case, because that is far from accurate. This was strictly a commentary on the media aspect of this issue, and how dangerous it is that this confidentiality clause leaves all of these outsiders to do nothing but speculate.

Razz said...

"..Mayfield is lying.."
"..Jeremy is lying.."
"..Jeremy is the liar.."
"..a guilty, lying driver/owner.."

Yeah, stricklan, silly me. Can't imagine how I got that impression. Hypothetical or not, you called the guy a liar numerous times. But if that offended you, I will apologise because there's no need to take this off in a tangent.

Ken Schrader made an interesting comment about the issue on Wind Tunnel. Paraphrasing, he said "I hope Mayfield is correct and whatever he took isn't on the list." I would expect to see some articles and media figures discuss the fact that there is no such list in the coming days as some of the journalists who wrote articles over the last 6 or 7 months criticising the lack of such a list begin publishing.

As for those such as the individual who triple posted after me who think that "unless Mayfield [is] guilty ... NASCAR wouldn't have acted as they did" I suggest you research Tim Richmond.

stricklinfan82 said...

Razz,

You seem to have mistakenly taken those quotes grossly out of context. Upon a more thorough review of my original post, you and everyone else should be able to clearly see that those quotes you pulled out were simply part of my completely hypothetical "if Jeremy is guilty" discussion. One can also note that you seem to have overlooked the following quotes that I also included in my fair and balanced completely hypothetical "if Jeremy is innocent" discussion:

"Jeremy Mayfield is truly innocent"

"wrongly convict Mayfield of blatant wrongdoing"

"NASCAR is hiding something and their drug testing is fatally flawed"

I appreciate your passion, and I respect the fact that you (like me, JD, and everyone else here) have the right to make up your own mind and side with whoever you want on this issue (Jeremy Mayfield, NASCAR, or neither). Please be clear now though that I am not on the anti-Jeremy side of this discussion, I am completely neutral. So any ire you have against the "Anti-Jeremy crowd" is misguided if you have it pointed in this direction and I'm sorry you misunderstood my comments.

Now that that's taken care of let me briefly get back to my original point. Clearly there is a discrepency here. NASCAR has suspended a driver for a failed drug test, and said driver is arguing that he is completely innocent. Personally I'm inclined to say that in a dispute situation like this it might be a good idea for both parties to agree to lift the confidentiality agreement and lay all the facts out on the table for the world to see. That way the media won't have to "dig" for stories and sometimes unintentionally broadcast inaccurate, character-damaging information about the innocent party, and the fans and potential future sponsors won't fall into the same trap of wrongly placing blame on whichever one of these parties happens to be the innocent one.

If things stay as is and Mayfield's suspension is upheld with no further explanation from NASCAR because of this confidentiality agreement, then someone (whoever is actually in the right here) is going to unecessarily suffer from unjustified character defamation from the media and other onlookers of the world, and to me that's just not fair.

Karen said...

Just read today that tennis player Gasquet tested positive for cocaine, but the sanctioning body is not suspending him yet, pending further investigation.

So French Federation said what the drug was and is not jumping to conclusions even though with coke, I'm sure that is a banned substance everywhere.

I know that tennis is a stretch vs. NASCAR, but it's still a popular sport.

Karen said...

And, Razz, your comment re: Tim Richmond is spot on. From reading about his being banned from driving years ago for some OTC med, there was a lot of cover-up going on by NASCAR so they wouldn't have to admit why they really wanted him outta there.

I guess that was the mindset back in the 80's when HIV was making its debut into the world we now know.

Kate said...

I think the International Olympic Committee has it right. As soon as the B sample is confirmed in any testing case, they announce their findings and name the drug. This prevents unfair speculation and allows everyone to know what they're dealing with (i.e., thinking 'street drugs' when the issue might be antihistamines). Simply suspending someone while omitting crucial details surrounding the suspension does not protect confidentiality.

Deborah said...

There are laws that likely prevent NASCAR from specifying what substance Mayfield tested positive for, just as MLB couldn't say what drug Ramirez was suspended for - that information came from the media who found out from their sources, not from MLB.

I think what a few people are missing is that NASCAR doesn't administer the drug testing themselves. There's a professional drug testing company, Aegis Labs, that conducts the testing. Dr. David Black from Aegis, disputed Mayfield's claim that it was allergy meds that caused him to test positive in USA Today, saying that there was "no way" that a driver would test positive for using allergy meds as directed. I also think some have it in their heads that only illegal drugs are an issue but legal drugs can be abused or can be prohibited from being used by a driver because of the possibility that it might impair them during a race. Something tells me that if there's more media coverage of this and the media gets or uncovers more details it may not clear Mayfield as some are hoping for.

Anonymous said...

I really wish NASCAR would come out with what Jeremy was on. At least they have come out to say that his assertion of 'combining meds" is not plausible for a positive test.

Please do not bring Tim Richmond in this discussion...Tim issues had nothing to do with OTC meds.

Julia said...

Maybe it is as Jeremy says, but I'm not sure I can believe it. I take a perscription allergy medicine, plus an over the counter one too. I have taken two different drug tests during this time. Not one time did it come back positive for anything. I did tell the people giving the test what I was taking, but it never came back positve. The ones giving the test know the difference between allergy meds reactions and other reactions. I'm sorry but I find it hard to believe Jeremy.

PPistone said...

John -
I did a blog today about what you pointed out in the way SPEED handled the story on Saturday which i thought was just ridiculous. Here is one of the - like it or not - biggest stories to hit the sport and rather than go live to the news conference or at the very least have a reporter outside the media center the second the announcement came, we get Hermie and those three goofy drivers for 12 minutes of absolute nonsense. ESPNNEWS had the Mayfield name immediately as did Sirius and several websites and online news sites. SPEED's news "broke" at 6:12 p.m. And people say we don't need a 24-hour channel devoted to NASCAR and its news.

Pete Pistone

Anonymous said...

I'll echo some others and say why did they have to announce it on Sat? Jeremy didn't even make the race. This would have been a good buzz story for Tue/Wed, the slow news days.Because it was actually BREAKING NEWS on Saturday. You don't hold news for "slow times". If NASCAR had held it, the word would have gotten out around the garage and a reporter would have written about it before NASCAR could announce it.

As far as media coverage, the New York Times is ignoring the whole thing. They didn't have a story about the Darlington race at all in the first place and nothing about Mayfield yesterday or today, not even the AP story. The Times does have the AP story about the tennis player who tested positive.

Great job by USA TODAY to talk to the doctor in charge of the program, who says allergy medicines had nothing to do with it. --- "What we have is a clear violation of policy," said David Black, whose Tennessee-based Aegis Labs conducts NASCAR's random testing program. ---

Daly Planet Editor said...

Great comments, please keep them coming.

JD

Tracy said...

This has been a fantastic discussion, but I'm with the side that says "let's wait and see what shakes out" before taking it to the next level. I'm thinking of Hornaday, who was basically humiliated in the press before he could get out his side publically. (I wonder how many people remember his thyroid issues and treatment, while instead his name conjures up the image of an athlete taking drugs.) I will always admire Harvick for getting Hornaday the medical help he needed so desperately.

However, that silly Speed episode with Jamie, Elliot Sadler, ?, and Hermie was just ludicrous, even if it hadn't been at the same time the suspensions were announced.

Shane Hmiel, who now knows he was using illegal substances to mask/cope with the symptoms of his other, very serious medical issues, (which happens often in our society), is one person who was helped by drug testing. Thank goodness he's getting the help he always needed and is still with us. Kevin Grubb wasn't so fortunate.

Dan said...

In sorting out a situation like this one of the first questions you have to ask is motive. What possible motive could NASCAR have for issuing this ruling against Jeremy Mayfield unless they have a legitimate reason for doing so? I can't think of a single benefit for NASCAR and the sport of stock car racing for taking this action.

Tracy said...

I just listened to Ricky Craven's comments on ESPN online, and he did a precise and insightful job of analyzing the issue. Bascially, he felt Mayfield's career was finished because of this.

It'll be interesting to hear if he's changed his mind if the issue is discussed on NN this evening. Craven is extremely good at getting to the heart of any matter.

Anonymous said...

I don't think for one minute NASCAR would have made an announcement if there was a legitimate dispute as to the validity of the test. NASCAR has lawyers and advisors - if there was a chance of a false positive or any risk of ruining someone's reputation and career wrongly, NASCAR wouldn't have said anything.

Furthermore, if NASCAR is in possession of a positive test, the policy should be that the person is suspended immediately. THIS IS THE ONLY CORRECT CALL. What are you going to do, let Mayfield race until it is settled?

There is no place on a racetrack for anyone who uses any kind of narcotic - either for performance enhancement or as a recreational pastime. None. If NASCAR has information that Mayfield has been using drugs, it is their OBLIGATION to act immediately. Anything less endangers the lives of the (clean) competitors.

I think it is interesting that no one seems to be bringing up that two of Mayfield's team members were also suspended. So, there is a clear pattern here.

I applaud NASCAR. I wish they could name the drug today, but anyone who understands libel and/or slander knows why they cannot.

As for Mayfield - good riddance. Anyone who knows anything about these drugs tests can only laugh at Mayfield's "explanation". What a joke.

Zieke said...

I feel genuinely bad for Jeremy and altho if NASCAR happened to be wrong here, the sanctioning body would lose most if not all their credibility, including my respect. They cannot afford to be wrong, because if they get sued, all the facts will have to come out in court. I believe if Jeremy sues them, he would have a very good case, and if not, his career is over and NASCAR is correct. We shall see.

Anonymous said...

West Coast Diane said:

@anon 12:28 Two of Mayfield's crew were not involved. One crew member from his team did get suspended at begininning of the season. The two that tested positive were one from the Cup 34 team and one from the NW 16 team.

JD,

I am one of your biggest fans for what you do at the TDP. However, I'm not getting the Mayfield thing.

What is Dave Despain suppose to say? Or anyone for that matter? NASCAR made the announcement. There are confidentiality issues. Mayfield issued a response. Now, the doctor from Aegis (JD, did I just misread...you made it sound as though Dr Black is with Nascar as opposed to Aegis) issued a response to the "it was a combination of allergy medications".

Why does everything have to be tried in the court of public opinion?

I have read some other articles, blogs and comments. Wow, public opinion is all over the map. Some have concluded it is Claritin and there is a cover up because they are a big sponsor for NASCAR.

I, for one, can wait until it shakes out. I feel for Jeremy, but obviously something came up. Maybe it is a combo Aegis has never seen before and if so, Jeremy will be cleared.

Aegis is a well known testing company that tests for companies/organizations world wide.

I would like clarification on the timing, though. I thought I read (maybe I'm making it up after reading so much stuff) that the
2nd test results came back Saturday and that's why it was announced before the race. If true, I would agree with that, since to let it go would have started rumors, then accusations Nascar should have announced it when they found out. It is a lose lose situation when the news is not good.

Regarding Raceday, Fox, etc and their reactions. I would have said. "This is devasting news, but without all the facts it is inappropriate for us to make any comments. We wish Jeremy well and hope this is resolved in his favor".

Anonymous said...

So I guess the two crew members that NASCAR suspended were also taking perscription and over-the-counter meds, too, right?

A likely story.

Good riddance, Mayfield. He deserves to be made an example of. Let every other driver know in no uncertain terms what happens when you do drugs and then race car: YOU VANISH FROM THE SPORT!

glenc1 said...

I am surprised at people not getting why NASCAR isn't naming the substance. There are *laws* protecting Jeremy's privacy, of course it must come from him. My guess is that the difference in the fact that other sports have lists is that they also have *unions*. Most of the drug testing in professional sports is negotiated by the players unions, I believe. Olys, I don't know; I guess you probably sign something agreeing to abide by their committees. Obviously since NASCAR doesn't have a union (and I'm not debating the pros/cons of that) they are free to make whatever rules they wish.

While I don't necessarily wish for the media to jump to conclusions without all the facts (like the poor guy on NFL network whose boss is making him camp out on Brett Favre's lawn...), to have goofy interviews going on (and the driver I root for was one of them) was just inappropriate and made SPEED look like buffoons.

When many, many fans have the internet before them, it's like...well, fiddling while Rome burns (slight exaggeration, but you get the point.) I hope they allow Craven to address it on NN; if he's the only one daring to draw an opinion on it.

I wish with all my heart Mayfield was innocent. And I agree that Tim Richmond's situation has some relevance...in how NASCAR handled things it doesn't like...but that was then & this is now. I think they have changed a great deal since then due to media scrutiny, they've *had* to. You can't just invent drugs tests to nail one guy anymore, any more than you can take a reporter and punch him when no one's looking (from an old-timer's story...) Too many media people walking around who see everything.

So...I guess I'm somewhere in the middle. I think the networks could have addressed it better instead of ignoring it, but I don't want them speculating about things they don't know. Also, there are many differences between the types of substances used--not just illicit recreational drugs; there are prescriptions, OTC, supplements (which over the years have had mystery ingredients) and performance enhancing drugs, as well as blood doping. Whatever it is could fall into any of those categories, and doesn't make Mayfield a 'druggie'. But it will be up to him to clear that up if he chooses, not NASCAR. *If* he is innocent, he'll probably do that. If not, I hope he and NASCAR work out a program and test him weekly, as Shane Hmiel did (last I knew he was in USAC or someplace.) That may be a way to salvage his career...but I don't know how NASCAR could get away with a double standard at banning some guys & not others, if they treat all substances the same way.

Perhaps the way is to just point out some of the things people have said here and make a grown up discussion about it. I feel like the 'Sports Reporters' could have managed something like that.

Jack from PA said...

I just hope through all of this (I'm assuming Jeremy did take illegal drugs as per the dispute by NASCAR's doctor) that he gets the treatment he needs. There's no way of finding out how long Jeremy was using whatever it was he was using, correct?

I just wish NASCAR had a better press conference, which was televised live on either SPEED (which is what I was watching, instead I got Hermie's family reunion in the motorcoach lot) or ESPNEWS. I didn't expect them to carry it live, but I'll give them credit for reporting it before SPEED ever did on their Bottomline.

Who is this NASCAR doctor? Why doesn't NASCAR Now try and get him on the phone for tonight's show? Ricky Craven and Mike Wallace are both scheduled to be on for the roundtable, and I think that would be a great interview to see. Wasn't it Mike who took over for Mayfield in the 12 in 2001 after he "left" Penske? Little irony there for when they do talk about Mayfield, which I am sure they will.

I am a little surprised it didn't get more coverage, as this was the first Sprint Cup driver to be suspended for drug use. Sure, it wasn't a high profile driver like Junior or Edwards, but I think more coverage is deserved.

I'm just going to sit back and watch the NASCAR programming tonight. Looking forward to hearing the opinions of Mikey, Chad, Mike Wallace, and Ricky.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Di,

Dr. Black's drug testing company is in charge of the NASCAR program.

This is a news issue, like any other. The same old who, what, when, where and why are the challenges of the media.

In many cases like this, we see the athlete in question follow a pathway. That path is continual denial, immediate rehab or simple admission of wrongdoing.

All Despain had to say was "we tried to get Jeremy on the show and he did not respond to our calls."

One unique aspect of NASCAR is that the people, dollars and equipment are all intertwined. Almost the entire sport exists within a short drive of the SPEED studios.

Mayfield does business every day with suppliers who give him racing equipment. He employs people who are loyal to him and he interacts with media types all the time.

What are they saying? Feeling? Angry at NASCAR? Who saw him last? Where is the doctor who gave him the prescription?

This is a news story just like the big Talladega crash and the fan injuries.

Time to report it.

JD

stricklinfan82 said...

ESPNEWS had Ricky Craven and Mike Wallace on the set and they just discussed the Mayfield suspension. Craven said "this proves NASCAR is serious", explained how he "holds Mayfield in high regard", and called the news "a shock" and "uncomfortable". Wallace explained the "not definitive" nature of the policy and said "we'd really like to know what happened with Jeremy" but he's not sure that will ever happen. He concluded that drivers know they "need to be professional" and gave his own account of racing only twice this year and being drug tested both times.

To me it came across as a good, balanced, and completely fair discussion of the situation.

Anonymous said...

Daly Planet Editor said "All Despain had to say was "we tried to get Jeremy on the show and he did not respond to our calls."

This is why Mayfield put out his press release... for every Despain there are 100's more local guys trying to get a quote from Mayfield.

Anonymous said...

I do not think Nascar jumped out there with this decision blindly. I feel sure their legal eagles are fully aware of all of the ramifications it they were not on solid ground with their decision. And Jeremy has already shown that he is capable of lying and deception in the past so he gets no "free pass" or the benefit of the doubt with me on the issue of him being capable of lying. I think at the very least Jeremy showed once again degree of stupidity by not clearing any drugs he was taking prescribed or otc with nascar before taking them. It is too late now to do his homework, the test is over. As far as the media coverage is concerned...we were dealing with camera media (TV) and it be may that the camera crews were not allowed inside for the press coverage so all they could do was wait until it was over and fill with "anything" until they could take in on air. The on air personalities in Nascar are mostly either former drivers, crew people, or related to one of the these mentioned folks. The racing media is a bit different from many of the other sports media personnel in that they are close to the drivers and crew, they are also "working" under the scrutiny of Nascar, so they try to stay neutral as they can and stay within the facts of the situation as they know them.

Dot said...

I wonder if Saving Abel is filming a new video.

Karen said...

@anon 4:28. As far as the media coverage is concerned...we were dealing with camera media (TV) and it be may that the camera crews were not allowed inside for the press coverage so all they could do was wait until it was over and fill with "anything" until they could take in on air.

What have a press conference if you don't allow the camera crews in, TV media or not?

DrTeplisky said...

Just an FYI--at most Sprint Cup races, the TV tech guys install some sort of robotic HD camera in the press interview room/area to televise the post race news conferences. JD is much more qualified than I to speak on how one could get a signal/recording from that camera from the operational side. The camera usually seems to be an ESPN unit, which can, if the right switches and permissions are activated, go on other folks' air. Therein lies the rub--FOX/Speed vs ESPN/ABC.

As for the crux of the argument--I was hoping that a Tim Richmond-like fiasco could be avoided. Sadly, that seems to be the case.

George Santayana was right--those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them in the future.

darbar said...

Still, despite what everyone is saying, there are just some things for me that do not add up----unless, that is, if Mayfield is in complete denial of a problem---and that may be the key to everything. Did Mayfield not fire an employee of his that tested positive a while back? If that's the case, he knew Nascar wasn't messing around, and knew that he was probably going to get tested at some point in time----so how does a supposedly intelligent person do any kind of banned substances fully aware that he could be drug tested?

Here's a question for those of you who follow other sports. This has to do with confidentially. When athletes in other sports have been identified as failing drug tests, haven't they reported what the drugs were? I thought when Manny Ramirez tested positive, they also reported what the substances were. Did they not report what the bicyclists tested positive for after the Tour de France?

Mayfield just has to call a news conference and get his story out. He needs to either come clean about using a banned substance or provide supporting evidence that he has not taken anything illegal.

Vicky D said...

I thought Mike Wallace, Ed Hinton & Ricky Craven's comments were good. Also, according to Mike Wallace the drivers/team members have not seen a list of banned drugs I found that very interesting. Unless he has been told by his attorney not to, I would think Mayfield would want to go on the offense regarding this matter.

Dot said...

I thought Ed brought up some good points on NN.

The biggest topic of all this is the secrecy. Did he do it? What is it? Was he actually under the influence, or was it residual? Just too many questions.

When NASCAR changed their drug policy, did they change the reasonable suspicion clause?

Karen said...

When NASCAR changed their drug policy, did they change the reasonable suspicion clause?


Dot, I think it's safe to assume that the reasonable suspicion clause is no longer the impetus for a drug test. Everyone was tested at the beginning of the year which has never happened before. Plus Hunter said it was a computerized random selection after that.

darbar said...

How can any establishment have a drug testing policy and not give their employees a list of banned substances or a list of what they'll be testing for? This sounds typical of Nascar---making up the rules as they go along. I've heard numerous times on Nascar on Sirius that no one knows the rules for Nascar because Nascar changes the rules as they go along or to fit their pleasure. Man, as much as I don't care for unions, the drivers need something to protect them from the idiots who run Nascar. How can Hunter/Helton/France not tell their people exactly what they're going to be tested for? Oh, I forgot---they just have to invoke the ambiguous "in the best interest of Nascar" rule.

Newracefan said...

NN handled it very well and Ed asked all the questions I also want to know. It's up to Jeremy to answer them not Nascar, they can not set a precedent of releasing what the substance is because that would make it so they had to release it for everyone and it would violate the rights of those who do not want their medical information released. Medical information protection is a federal law.

Gymmie said...

@darbar--that's where I'm coming from as well. He seems to want to clear his name and I hope he gets a chance to. Even with the Dr. saying his story is impossible, I think Jeremy should be able to put it all out there. No it's not NA$CAR's or the Dr.'s place to say, but Jeremy can.

Regardless if folks will ever believe him, if he says meet me here at noon tomorrow so I can speak he should get the chance.

Anonymous said...

That's funny, I didn't think NN handled it well. I felt that they got totally sidetracked on this discussion of allergy medicines. Does anyone think for a minute that Mayfield had NyQuil or Advil in him and that is why NASCAR moved to effectively end his entire career? Do you think if this was a case of "Oh, wow, there was a legitimate confusion on whether or not I could use BenGay or eye drops" or do you think the more likely scenario is that Mayfield was on narcotics?

Puh-leaze... you don't need to be given a "list" to know what you should and shouldn't use. Every driver on camera with a quote talked about how it was left in no uncertain terms how serious the program was. This is not the kind of backwoods outfit that is going to give a false positive, but one of most reliable labs in the nation.

Good riddance Mayfield.

Ken-Michigan said...

I really am curious to know, WHY did NASCAR call this press conference just 90 minutes prior to the start of the race ?

Did they get the Mayfield test back from the doctor at 4pm on saturday and then immediately call a presser for 6pm ?

Why not wait til Tuesday and announce it like many "other" announcements & penalties are handed out ?

And now, over 48 hours after the Jim Hunter announcement, this NASCAR fan has heard absolutely nothing from the sanctioning body to help the millions of fans clear up this serious issue.

Maybe now we have a sense of why so many people/fans are no longer on the NASCAR band wagon.

Dot said...

@ Karen, I'm guessing that they don't have to wait for the lucky computer number to come up. If they think it, they'll test.

As long as a driver is not impaired on the track, does it matter that he took a "cold" pill the night before?

@ darbar, I get what you're saying. That's why this could be another NASCAR press fiasco. I just can't imagine a driver/owner doing this.

I get med confidentially laws. I agree with nrf, Jeremy needs to speak. Ironic that the owner can't speak about the driver and vice versa.

darbar said...

Mike Wallace said on NN, that "there are some drugs that can show up in over the counter perscriptions that are not considered legal but we don't know what those are". To me, that's a huge issue.

Bestwick asked: "Are you handed a list of substances so that you have a piece of paper saying no can't take that or shouldn't have that". Answer: NO

Wallace: "Is there a list of dos and don'ts? No there is not. Pick up a phone and call us" if your doctor is going to prescribe something.

So what Nascar needs to do is come up with a better policy and they MUST EXACTLY delineate what you can or cannot do/take/mix or whatever. Again, Nascar is messing up by not having exactly what you can or cannot do with regards to medication of any kind. To me, this is wrong.

Ed Hinton says Nascar needs to be fair and they need to have more clarity in their rules. Like he said, there's a huge difference between taking allergy medication and crack cocaine. He said Nascar needs to be fair and narrow things down, especially if it's a minor thing. But he said you cannot expose these guys to such reputational damage for the rest of their lives. Hinton is exactly correct.

Hinton said, "Nascar has a reputation of despotism or dictatorship. They can get you for whatever they want to get you for". I think that says a lot.

Anonymous said...

This is a joke, right? NASCAR isn't going to suspend a driver/owner for Sudafed!!! I don't care if he was taking Extra-Strength Sudafed, we all have to wise-up here and get real: NASCAR isn't in the business of detroying careers over nasal decongestant!

CLEARLY Mayfield was taking something that obviously shouldn't have been taking, and CLEARLY it is the kind of thing that doesn't need to belong on a list. I think it is sad that so many fans hold NASCAR in such low regard that they think this whole thing could be legitimately be a mix-up over cold medicine!

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Anonymous said...

This has been a very good conversations. I think many of the comments have brought good points.

If we go back a little, NASCAR had a very loosy-goosey drug testing policy. You were tested if you seemed suspicious.

It was drivers like Kevin Harvick and others who pushed NASCAR to changed the policy. NASCAR keep saying they were researching it and yet were draging their feet. Finally, though kicking and screeming, NASCAR met with all involved and had meetings with owners, drivers crews, etc. They then, and only then came with a policy.

Part of the policy would be that there would be an immediate suspension, no exceptions, and the said infraction would not name the drug in question. (Could be a protection against law enforcement.) Everyone would have a number to call before taking a drug. It was suggested they do it.

Drivers wanted this. There was overwhelming support. Most said it was about time.

After Mayfield was named, there have been quotes from quite a few drivers. Not one has voiced support for Jeremy over NASCAR. Kevin of course was happy with the drug testing and glad people will get the point. Others with comments include Tony, Jimmie Johnson, John Andretti, Ryan, and more.

Not one driver has said they are now afraid of the policy and want it revised. All the ones who have spoken, support the policy as it stands.

Ricky Craven stated that the last time he ran a race, he called the liaison that NASCAR has given all the personnel to tell them he was taking Claritin, and he was given the okay to take it.

I think it was Jeff Gordon that said when they had the meeting with the drug testing info, and they paraded all these experts, you had to know NASCAR meant business.

Aegis Labs is not a mom and pop outfit. They are the largest dope testing lab in the US. They have all these forensic Phd's working there. They do the testing for the NCAA, and other organizations. I'm sure they have heard every "story" in the book.

See aegislabs.com

Anonymous said...

>After Mayfield was named, there have
>been quotes from quite a few
>drivers. Not one has voiced support
>for Jeremy over NASCAR.

This is a major point everyone is overlooking.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy refused to be interviewed for NN. He sure could have cleared up a lot of things. Otherwise we keep guessing.

Jeremy was notified on Tuesday that he had tested positive. NASCAR was notified on Thrusday. Jeremy waited util Friday to request his sample B be tested. Why? On advice of his lawyer? So he could think up a story? Anyway, then NASCAR got the new test result at noon on Saturday.

Jeremy then said he "believed" it was bla, bla... Why did he not say "I have never taken an illegal substance." Why din't he name the OTC drug and Rx he mixed?

Jeremy said he was talking with Dr Black to resolve this. Well, he has to, if he wants to come back. Dr Black is no fool. Jeremy will have to come clean and follow some plan and then the Dr will recommend Jeremy can return.

Sophia said...

I was not able to see all of NN but I did see Ed Hinton talking about how NASCAR needs clearer laws. I so agree with that.

Ed Hinton thinks the same way I do. I do not know if they brought up Tim Richmond but he was suspended for Sudafed. Say what you want about the other issues on him, he was OUT for allegedly taking Sudafed.

Again, Hinton is correct...it's like a new "inspection" rule for NASCAR...if they want you out, they want you out.

This LACK of info (and confidentially aside) makes NASCAR look ignorant.

And I must say I was STUNNED nobody has a list of the banned substances.

Etch-a-sketch rules as usual for NASCAR.

NOT a good thing.

Now those quibbles aside, if Mayfield did something terribly wrong, he should be out..but COMMUNICATION and details go a long way in helping ME understand any situation.

Same could go for NASCAR and their fans, as the fans fall off the wayside.

Anonymous said...

NASCAR does not need to give a list. They give a number to call. It takes 2 minutes to find out. Besides, if one is to believe Jeremy, a list would not tell who different medications intercat with each other. You need a chemist to tell you.

Other driver have called. They don't feel at risk. Why gamble with your future?

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:42. How can you say CLEARLY in all those instances? Did you do the testing of Mayfield's urine? I doubt it, so clearly you cannot say what showed up in Mayfield's system. Until Nascar decides to clear things up, no one is going to know anything. Nothing is clear with this issue.

Daly Planet Editor said...

There is a new column up about the Monday TV shows and how each dealt with the Mayfield topic.

JD

Deborah said...

Seems to me that NASCAR not giving a specific list to the drivers is a bit of a non-issue with Jeremy since as an owner he would have gotten the list of banned substances that were given to the teams that applied to crew members - as Jenna Fryer pointed out, a driver wouldn't be held to a lesser standard than what's on that list. In addition, as has been pointed out if there was any confusion Jeremy could have checked with NASCAR or Dr. Black directly. But with Dr. Black saying that what Jeremy tested positive for is "a drug of great concern" it doesn't really sound like something that one would need a list to know that you shouldn't be using it if you're a driver.

Sophia said...

Well I wish I had seen more of NN as I must have missed the drivers interviewed on the topic of Mayfield.

Hmm...that is interesting.

Not looking good.

Joe said...

I must say this reminds me of Tim Richmond all over again. Anon at 9:12 pm, it has happened before. What if Mayfield is in a similar situation, not speculating AIDS or HIV, but if whispers were out there about a communicable disease, perhaps NASCAR got rid of the problem? I mean Richmond had to go off AZT and thus supplement with another medication. I reserve judgment on this Doctor Black. For NASCAR historians, Dr. Tennent ran the screening on Richmond's test and was also fired by the NFL due to irregularities in their drug screening process.

I can think of several reasons why Mayfield has only to now thrown out a canned toe the line statement: He has been burned opening his mouth before so he's finally on the business side of things so he figures it is best to let the lawyers do the talking.

Unfortunately for Mayfield, when it's all said and done he's going to be known for several things: Drug test, jet fuel, and burned bridges with Evernham and Penske rather than the gutsy driving he exhibited on several occasions like the Earnhardt nudge, and his gallant charges into the Chase.

Too bad and I hope it's all a misunderstanding but with the comments by Dr. Black, if it comes out that his lab erred, what will cost NASCAR more, buying off a driver and settling another suit out of court or eating a multi year contract with a drug lab?

Either way what little credibility NASCAR has will be shot.

Anonymous said...

Mayfield stripped from the NASCAR.com drivers pages. I wonder how long before they remove him from the standings?

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:42. How can you say CLEARLY in all those instances? Here is how:
"What we have is a clear violation of policy," said 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 the combination of over-the-counter or prescription products."

Do you know ANYTHING about Aegis? Do you think they have an agenda? Puhleaze.

darbar said...

You know, that comment "a drug of great concern" really bothers me. If confidentiality is important, then the Doctor should have kept his mouth totally shut. But by making such a comment, he opened the door to huge speculation. That doctor should not have said one single word other than so and so tested positive for a substance banned by Nascar. Anything else is a violation of privacy. I don't know, but I just have the sneaking feeling that this is going to come back and bite Nascar in the butt.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:18----Ever hear of mistakes in testing? Why do you think Aegis is the end all be all of testing? Do you work for them? Sorry, but I believe in innocent until proven guilty. Nascar has always held the position of guilty until proven innocent.

Razz said...

First of all, I want to comment on reporter Jenna Fryer's assertion that "NASCAR indeed DOES have a list of banned substances it provided all teams in December."

Now, there are numerous new articles from last September up to at least February 18 of this year that directly contradict her statement. Mike Wallace unequivocally stated that there is no such list given to the drivers and as an active driver (even if he hasn't actually raced this year), he certainly has some authority on the subject.

Further, Dr. Black has reiterated this weekend that there is no list. As head of the testing program, Dr. Black is presumably the ultimate authority on the question.

An ESPN article today has this:

"Dr. Charles Yesalis, a Penn State professor who has testified before Congress on performance-enhancing drugs and spent 25 years researching drug testing, is that drivers are not provided a list of banned substances."

"That alone to me is ludicrous," Yesalis said Monday. "That just kind of violates your sense of fair play."

Now, how do you reconcile Fryer's assertion with the overwhelming evidence that there is no list?

We can only speculate, but if NASCAR issued a list of examples of banned substances in December, Fryer would be technically correct, but precisely wrong because NASCAR's own authorities have said they deliberately decided against a list to retain "flexibility."

Now, as to specifics of what happened, we know little more today than we did Saturday.

We know it's not alcohol and it's not a "performance enhancing drug," according to Dr. Black and NASCAR.

While some sources claim Mayfield tested positive for cocaine, I've seen no credible source for that rumor.

From the driver's side, somewhat credible sources are saying that Mayfield was taking Claritin. Another ESPN article goes into some depth on that.

What I find intriguing is Black's comment.

"I will say we have a threshold from something like Claritin D, so it's a drug of concern," Black said. "It could be that if an individual used Claritin D to excess that would be reason for action."

That raises some big red flags in my eyes. Given that Claritin contains pseudoephedrine (which, you may recall, was fairly recently the subject of a law forcing it to be moved 'behind the counter' because of it's common use in methamphetamine manufacture) and many prescription drugs do as well, it's not hard to envision a scenario where such a combination could trigger a false positive for "excess."

Whatever the truth, NASCAR has painted itself into a corner, and Mayfield's only recourse is likely a lawsuit - a lawsuit that could, given Claritin's prominent sponsership of the sport, potentially give NASCAR a huge black eye at a time they can ill afford it.

Anonymous said...

According to the memo teams received last December, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, crew members are tested for:

-Seven different amphetamines, including methamphetamine and PMA, a synthetic psychostimulant and hallucinogen.

-Three drugs classified under ephedrine.

-Thirteen different narcotics, including codeine and morphine.

-Ten different benzodiazepines and barbituates.

-Marijuana, cocaine, zolpidem, nitrites, chromates and drugs that can increase specific gravity.

No such banned list exists specifically for drivers because NASCAR reserved the right to test for anything it wants.

source

red said...

random thoughts on all this:

1. tim richmond was bounced out of nascar b/c tim richmond had AIDS and nascar -- like most of society at that time -- had no understanding of the condition and didn't know how to handle it. in my opinion, how they handled the situation was deplorable BUT it was no different than how most AIDS patients were treated at the time. his alleged drug use may or may not have been a reality but the drug for which they chose to punish him was silly. they were clearly unsure how to proceed, they may not have been given accurate information by richmond and his medical personnel and they appear to have overreacted. (of course, knowing what we know now? had richmond been in an accident, his AIDS could have put rescue personnel at risk: remember greg louganis hitting his head and opening a scalp wound and that controversy?)

2. i believe (and am willing to be proven incorrect) that federal patient confidentiality law prevents anyone from releasing any details about this without the permission of the patient(s). mayfield and the two crew members have clearly not given that permission and so, under hipa laws, the information is not to be released.
if this is covered under hipa (and i believe it is) we can be curious and want more information all we'd like but there exists a federal law prohibiting that information being released without patient approval. when shane hmiel was busted (under the previous drug "policy") we were not told what drug(s) was involved. that information came from hmiel directly at a much later time. as for aaron fike: his drug use was not uncovered thru the drug policy in effect at that time he was busted by the locals and that's why we learned what drug was involved.

3. as for the existence of the banned substances list and whether it's available to drivers as well as crew: mayfield is/was an owner. it is reasonable to think he had a copy of some list, even if not as a driver. and he had already fired a crew member for violation of the current policy. he knew that nascar is serious about this.

4. nascar provided drivers with a quick and easy way to check on any medication one might take: a phone call is all that was required. mayfield chose to not make that call. that is not nascar's responsibility: they provided the means, communicated the procedure and left it up to the adult racers to be responsible for their own choices -- and careers.

5. apparently, both A and B samples tested positive. an error on both tests is not unheard of, to be certain, but is less likely than both tests being accurate.

for me, the single most telling part of all this is that the current drivers, men who have raced with and against mayfield and who know him as an individual, have spoken in support of nascar's policy and actions.

mayfield may be guilty of being incredibly stupid and naive but that's not the same as being innocent of the allegation. nascar has done plenty of what i consider bone-headed things but this is the sort of policy that i asked for as a fan and i support what they've done with it so far.

Anonymous said...

red, very good comments.

I would like to add a few thoughts too.

When Jeremy gave his statement, the first thing he said was that he had "immense respect" for NASCAR and the policies in place.

In other words, Jeremy has no problem with the fact there is no list, and one strike and you're out.

Jeremy then went on to say that he "believed" it was a combination of 2 medications that produced the positive resluts.

In other words, Jeremy is NOT saying Aegis Labs made a mistake. He is saying he took 2 things and the mixture made a new chemical compound that produced the result.

So for all those who support Jeremy, read his statement over again. He is not faulting NASCAR or Aegis, he is actually taking the blame for the result.

Of course it's hard to believe if in fact the 2 items did morph into a banned substance if he does not tell us what he took and what Aegis says he took. The ball is in his court.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:18----Ever hear of mistakes in testing? Why do you think Aegis is the end all be all of testing? I rarely hear of mistakes in testing, at least by the most reputable companies, because there are safeguards and double-checks all built into the process. It isn't pee-in-a-cup-and-pour-it-in-a-machine-and-see-what-the-machine-says.

The reason I am so confident in Aegis is because I actually know something about the testing process and the labs that do it. Unlike you, I am not jumping to conclusions but using facts.

Anyone who knows anything about testing like this knows that just about the ONLY time you hear about false test results is out of the mouths of the accused. Wake up!

Anonymous said...

As has been stated before, the biggest Mayfield supporters have been reporters (not current drivers). And yet not one reporter has been able to come up with reports of Aegis Labs making mistakes in its Zero tolerance drug results.

Another thing reporters fail to mention is that drivers WANTED this policy. Drivers FORCED NASCAR to come up with a strict policy. NASCAR did not want to do it. Read old articles.

When one of Mayfield guys was caught this year, surely Mayfield made sure he knew all about the policy--ya think?

Anonymous said...

Excuses, excuses, excuses. That is all that Jeremy has right now. They ring just as hollow as the lame excuses Major League Baseball players that get caught try to pawn off on the public.

I just wonder why so many people are willing to villify Manny Ramirez, while giving Jeremy Mayfield the benefit of the doubt.

Anonymous said...

West Coast Diane said:

@JD...thanks for your response. I just get tired of the "cable news" type of reactions. They speculate 24/7, and more times than not, initial reactions are incorrect.

@anon 9:05 Well thought out comments.

@anon 9:16 Ditto

@red Ditto

I am trying to put myself in this situation if I worked for a company that did drug testing. Granted NASCAR is a "public" organization. However, if I did test positive, even if I thought it was like Mayfield's "it's 2 legal drugs combo" I would not want the company releasing info to the other employees in an email blast "WCD tested positive and the drugs were....". I also don't have a problem with Dr. Black's response. Mayfield brought up the 2 drug thing, so it was fair for Dr. Black to respond to that issue. Mayfield could have said.."I believe I did nothing wrong and am working with Dr. Black to clarify this issue and will not issue any further statements as we work to resolve this unfortunate situation.".

Dot said...

Per Andy Petree on NN he said NASCAR has a plan Jeremy can work on to get reinstated. Until we really know what the drug is, why is it a one size fits all plan?

Let's pretend it is Claritin. Is that addicting? I don't think so. So, all he has to do is not take it. Now, if it's painkillers or an illicit drug, that would be harder to quit taking.

I'm all for making sure the drivers aren't impaired. However, NASCAR really needs to look at their ZERO tolerance rule. How many times have we read where kids get expelled from school for taking a Tylenol? Or the kid with a butter knife to use for his lunch? Ah, the world of unintended consequences.

Richard in N.C. said...

I have not read anywhere that Jeremy Mayfield is in any way restricted from releasing whatever report NASCAR gave him on the results of his tests.

Anonymous said...

Dot, if you read Dr Black's comment, it is NOT one size fits all. Jeremy must meet with a health professional and THEN they decide what the program should be.

Jeremy HAS NOT said the results were a false positive. He has claimed that 2 drugs he took morphed into a banned substance.

When you are in a drug rehab program, you cannot be in denial. Jeremy will have to admit what he took and then they will decide how serious the problem is. If Jeremy sticks to his original story, I say he probably will NEVER drive for NASCAR again.

So far, Jeremy says he supports NASCAR's drug policy immensely.

Dot said...

@ Anon 6:07, What kind of drug program would there be for an OTC drug like Claritin for example. That's my point.

Didn't the drug testing become a big deal after Hmeil, Fike and Grubb (RIP) were caught using illicit drugs? The impaired driver is what I thought they were worried about, not the guy taking cold/allergy meds.

Anonymous said...

Dot,

If you are taking overdoses of Claritin D for example, you have a drug problem. That is not what Mayfield said. He said that he took an prescription and an OTC and they morphed into a banned substance. He did not deny the accuracy of the test, it's just he had an explanation.

He is now stuck with that story, unless he is going to do a mea culpa.

I mean it can be Nyquil or whatever. If a person takes it for something other than what it is supposed to be for, you have a problem.

I don't understand why you and other bloggers have a problem with NASCAR's policy when all the drivers who have spoken, have supported NASCAR over Jeremy.

And by the way, Jeremy's fisrt statement after he was banned was that he had "immense support" for NASCAR's poliicy in place.

I say, if Jeremy has a problem, let's get him the help he needs.

Elena

Anonymous said...

Richard in NC,

I know he could give us more information, but I see risks in that. What if he says he stand accused of some illegal drug? Who knows, maybe law enforcement gets involved and wants to know where he got it? So far this is just a horrible civil matter for him, I think he would want to avoid a legal matter.

Elena

Anonymous said...

All this talk about cold medicine is a JOKE. Do you people really think NASCAR is going to ban the guy over Claritin? Gimme a break.

If Aegis' testing methods were so easy to come up with a false positive then their entire business would be flawed and you would NEVER be able to trust ANY positive test.

Well, guess what, conspiracy theorists: these positive tests reflect positive findings.

Can anyone name a case when an athlete's bogus "false positive" excuse held up? I think Floyd Landis tried that one and when all the evidence came out, he was doping.

Gimme a break. There is no way over-the-counter meds and perscription mysteriously mix to create a positive for a narcotic. None.

red said...

dot: i'm uncertain where the OTC angle of this came in to being. as far as i've been able to determine, none of the principals involved have confirmed that OTCs were the two "legal" drugs which combined to make a positive result on both the A and B samples. somehow, somewhere, someone used the OTC/claritin angle and it has stuck to this story like spaghetti to a wall.

i doubt there is any sort of drug rehab program for -- using your example -- an OTC like claritin b/c claritin is neither addictive nor imparing when used correctly (or incorrectly, for that matter!)

the issue here is that nascar is trying very hard to not state what drug(s) is involved in the positive results on both samples. it is completely plausible that what's involved is not an illegal drug but rather a prescribed drug either being taken incorrectly or being prescribed incorrectly.

either way, mayfield is, in my opinion, wrong for having not made the call to the nascar contact to determine if, in fact, the drugs/medications would present a problem. he failed to do so and he's now bearing the consequences of that.

i agree that nascar is finally concerned about the impaired racer or crew member. but the impairment doesn't necessarily come from the illegal drugs that fike and hmiel have admitted to using. there are plenty of "legitimate" pain killers being prescribed that easily impair the user's abilities, including vicodin, percocet, tylenol w/codeine and others. these represent just as serious a risk and are not acceptable on a race weekend.

i have great difficulty believing that nascar busted mayfield and two crew members for using cold or allergy medicines. yes, that's the excuse that was used for tim richmond but there's a whole lot more behind that story than just "richmond was busted for sudafed."

mayfield and the other two gentlemen screwed up big time. if what they were/are taking is legitimately prescribed, they are incredibly stupid, to say the least. if what they were/are taking is illegal, then what defense should be offered on their behalf? either way, they were/are wrong and they now have to accept the consequences and ddecide the next step in conjunction with nascar's team. to me, it's pretty clear.

Newracefan said...

My thought is that Jeremy's only way to come out of this somewhat intact is to admit he was foolish and did not check before taking a legal medication and was unaware that it's components where part of the banned list or find a doctor that will fall on his stethescope (not gonnan happen). Sooner rather than later too.

Anonymous said...

If Jeremy wants to be reinstated, he has to come clean with Dr Black and the medical professionals. If he lies, it is a sign that he is in trouble and will not be permitted back until he abandons the denial bit.

If you read what Dr Black said, Jeremy has to agree to a lot. I know for a fact they have tests that reveal whether a person is a one-time user, an occasional recreational user or a habitual user.

Jeremy does not have to reveal to the public, but we will be able to tell what category he's in by the length of time it takes him to be reinstated. If he goes to a 30 day residential clinic, we'll know it was not just a one-time event.

If he choses not to reinstate, it means he could not subject himself to the program Dr Black recommended. We will always wonder why. But drivers will be thrilled not to have a user on the track.

Richard in N.C. said...

I suspect it is possible that taking legal substances A and B together could have the unintended effect of taking a truly banned substance or too much of a substance that would otherwise be allowable - such as having the same effect as taking amphetamines. My understanding is that most doctors have hand-held computerish devices ( PDR's ?), periodically updated, that they can use to check drug interaction in a matter of seconds before writing a prescription. I am truly hopeful that Jeremy's mistake is a lack of care.

Karen said...

Red, on Raceday when Wendy reported after the presser, she said a question was asked if it was Claritin and the answer was no.

I just saw Carl's ad for Claritin and he takes Claritin, not Claritin D which is the product that's kept behind the counter. Regular Claritin is out with all the other OTC meds. DXM (dextromethorphan) is the D in Claritin D and Robitussin DM. Makes my heart race so I don't even take it plus anything else that ends in tuss.

Anonymous said...

Will you guys stop talking about Claritin? NASCAR isn't suspending people for nasal decongestant, unless it is cocaine. I'm not saying Mayfield was on coke, but I bet you anything it was a serious narcotic. These test are much, much more advanced than most people think, and this whole "false positive" story is just a total crock to anyone who knows anything about modern substance testing.

Sophia said...

maybe this got off track about OTC meds because THEY can mess you up, but most will show up under a class of drugs.

you do not need a prescription or illegal drug to be IMPAIRED. I think most people know that. Does not matter how you got there but that you are under the influence.

benadryl knocks me out. I take the children's liquid version the rare times I need it and take only 1 tsp. antihistamines are very dangerous for many as it induces grogginess, slows your reflexes, causes cotton mouth,etc.

Some people think since it's OTC it's ok to drive. nope.

also a plethora of things in healthfood/nutrition stores used in certain fashions can give you a buzz and go UNDETECTED as they fall into NO class of most drug test (amphetamines, antihistamines, benzos, barbiturates,etc) I can only think of one off the top of my head but am not going to list it here.

So it would be helpful if Jeremy could just tell us or allow NASCAR to tell us. Clearing the air can do wonders.

and as long as one is not riding the river of denial, most will want to share with all what the drug involved is so people can help them maintain sobriety, if one has a serious problem. After denial, comes admittance, and then being HONEST.

Jimbacca said...

Depending on what 'tweet' (even a bigger reason to not use the system) or article there is a list but there's not but there is and it was handed out but it doesnt exist.
People wanted Jeremy to give a statement. He did. Yet its being attacked. Don't ask the question if you don't want the answer.

From what has been said and covered boils down to this simple thing.... NASCAR can remove you from the series for any reason they see fit. Drug of concern could be sugar to a diabetic. Their comebacks are that broad.

Lesley said...

If Jeremy was taking anything..It wasnt something that was going to make hime go faster(Drugs dont equal speed)This is not stick and ball sports gang!!He must have pissed somebody off in nascar,simple as that,,now there going to nail him for taking an asprin..Your life will be better off without stupid bloggers and stupid Nascar,,Take care Jeremy!! Always a fan!!!

red said...

i just don't see the infamous "nascar conspiracy" in all this; truly, i don't. nascar takes computer-generated random samples from drivers and crew every week. the samples are tested and the results reported to nascar for action as needed. standard lab practice is that the samples are given numbers and the lab has no list that matches the number to a name.

so, the lab couldn't have known who the sample came from. they reported the results to nascar who then matched the number and the name. the reason mayfield's been suspended is b/c both his A and B samples came up positive on the testing. no personality issues, no payback, no "gotcha" was involved.

again, there have been a plethora of dumb and petty actions taken by nascar over its history and there will likely continue to be many more. however, i just don't believe that fixing a drug test so that the organization can suspend an individual is one of those moves.

if it were, robbie gordon would be long gone.

that being said: it is clear that, if nascar has a list and if there is a way for drivers and crew to ask if what they're taking is a possible risk, then at the very least, nascar needs to communicate that part of the process out, put the inaccuarcies that have sprung up to rest. these objective pieces of information are important to the story.

as for the list of drugs itself: the idea of such a list is counter-intuitive to me. if i list everything someone is not permitted to take in exhaustive detail, alphabetized and footnoted, you can bet some clown is going to create or find a substance not on that list, ingest it and, IF he gets busted (a big "if" there) claim he didn't know b/c it wasn't on the list. that's why laws against drugs deal with classes of drugs, not lists. everything is phrased "including but not limited to . . ."

i guess i've moved beyond what mayfield and company did/didn't do. as a fan who has been quite vocal about the need for a stringent drug policy, what i'd now like to see nascar do is provide more hard information about the process so that the rumors can either be confirmed or denied. in addition, i think they clearly need to do a much better job of educating the teams and now is the ideal time. people hear what they need to hear ONLY when they need to hear it and not a moment sooner. people need to hear information now and i hope nascar is using these suspensions as the "when they need to hear it" momen to answer questions and explain procedures once again to the teams.

Anonymous said...

I did a lot of reading last night about Aegis. I read interviews with testers (just do some Googling) that were conducted well before the Mayfield case. I read a lot of materials about the HUNDREDS of drugs that they can pinpoint (meaning if it was Claritin-D, they could show that). I read a lot about myths about false positives and about the testing process. It was very informational and educational.

I am not suggesting that everyone take the time to do what I did (I'm a bit of a science geek), but it would be nice if some of you knew a little about what you were talking about before you started hurling accusations against NASCAR or Aegis Labs.

If you take even 10 minutes to read up about this stuff you will quickly see that a) Mayfield's excuse holds no water, b) whatever it is they got Mayfield on, they know exactly what it is, how often he took it, and for how long, and c) by the time the lab gets to a point that they conclude a positive result, there are many redundancies and double-checks built into the process to prevent errors. Meaning - it is not like he peed, they ran a test, and this was the result that was spit out. Rather, the positive result is their final conclusion after extensive scientific testing and verification (after all, their reputation and liability is on the line as an independent lab, too).

I think it is so sad that so many distrust NASCAR. I understand why, but I think it is really sad that there is this obvious disconnect between many fans and the sanctioning body that runs our favorite sport. Before you throw a rock at NASCAR or cast aspersions on the lab or the testing - DO SOME RESEARCH AND KNOW WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT.

Mayfield is busted. Period.

Anonymous said...

anon @ 11.00

Boy, you've done a better job of commenting on this issue than most of the paid media. Good for you.

Even the professor from Penn state who does not like NASCAR's drug policy admitted that he did not think the test was wrong and also (after 25 years as an expert) he had NEVER heard of the combo of the 2 drug morphing into a banned drug.

Another thing that the media (which seems to be very anti-NASCAR) has failed to mention that the garage seems to be in STRONG support of NASCAR over Mayfield.

I sure would like to know where this concern about a "list" came from? Prior to Mayfield, no one, not even Mayfield had/has ever spoken about such concern. Even after he got caught, Mayfiled only comment has been that he supports NASCAR's policy.

Why doesn't the media re-state what Elliott said on radio interview, that EVERY driver has Dr Black's cell phone number!!

To add to anon's statement, Aegis Labs is the LARGEST drug testing lab in the USA. Testing is not a fly-by-night activity.

Another thing is that if Jeremy continues to deny taking a banned substance, he will NEVER drive a race in NASCAR again. First step to recovery is to admit what you have done.

Good job anon 11.00

Anonymous said...

JD, has it been reported who pays for the cost of reinstatement? I know that NASCAR pays for the initial drug testing, but what happens after that? NASCAR states the person has to go thru a treatment program and that includes monotoring and visits to medical personel.

Richard in N.C. said...

I'll say again that I find it fascinating the difference in how the Mayfield and Manny Ramirez events are being treated in the media. The NASCAR media is pillorying NASCAR and the rest of the sports media is pillorying Manny - for quite similar instances, failed drug tests. In my view, more evidence of the media's anti-NASCAR bias.

If I am remembering the chronology corectly, my understanding is that Jeremy was notified that he had failed the A test before NASCAR was and given the option to request testing of the B sample, which I believe is why his "failure" was not final until Saturday when the B sample test was completed.

Also, if the NASCAR drug testing system is so clearly flawed, why did no one in the media raise the issue when the new system was announced last year? As I recall, last year the dominant media line was that the new system was not done soon enough.

It frustrates fans and the media, but it appears to me that Jeremy is handling the matter in the best way, which is behind the scenes and not thru the media - which I hope will result in his being reinstated and as soon as possible.

Anonymous said...

I think that Nascar Now has done this just right. NASCAR management have said all they can. Jeremy refuses to inform the public as to what he took and what he was charged with.

So NN continues to pose the questions to drivers/crew cheif and from that we have been able to see first hand that ALL of them support the drug policy as it stands.

I also think that it was yesterday when Dr Black said "We have a great deal of support." He also added that it was a "clear violation of the program that could not be described as a misunderstanding."

He went on "It's a violation that the policy must address...and we intend to enforce the policy."

It sure looks like NASCAR has no intention of backing off. So even though Jeremy said that he and his doctor were trying to work it out, it looks like the only thing to work out is--"when can you start the treatment program?"

PS.
So far there has only been one driver who has voiced concern about NASCAR's drug policy--JJ Yelly.

Anonymous said...

Oops! I meant JJ Yeley

Anonymous said...

Please note that Dr. Black isn't just another one of the many PhD doctors and scientists who work for Aegis, but the CEO of the entire company -- the single largest (by far) independent drug testing lab in the US (and thus the world). When he speaks, he is putting his entire company's reputation on the line - a reputation which already has established a steller record over decades of work with most all pro and collegiate sports. One misstatement from him, or if he is wrong, it puts into risk his entire operation -- a multi-million dollar business with hundreds of employees. He is clearly 100% confident that the science will back him up. So it looks like Jeremy's promised statement later this week had better be a doozy.

Matt TSB (the stick n baller) said...

New name to differentiate between Matt's - will try and remember in the future.

I'm 37, and for most of the past 20 years have been subject to random testing due to my work in the transportation industry. I have NEVER heard of anyone claiming "false positive" and having it hold up.

Also, taking another crack at my current understanding of the Manny/Mayfield question, I think a lot of it has to do with the Nascar "media." I just haven't seen enough mainstream sports media articles on Mayfields situation to do an apples to apples comparison. Vast, vast majority covering one are not coverin the other. I think times like these are, for bette or worse, where Nascar sees where it reallt stands in the sports world. A payoff to somebody to steer a kid to USC basketball is getting way more mainstream press than Mayfield is.

Anonymous said...

To add to the 2 previous posts, there are about 40 or so Federally certified labs, and Aegis is the largest.

Whether it's been college, pros, or Olympian (Dr Black did the test on the Canadian gold medal runner), none of the result have been overturned.

Their clients include over 80 universities. Dr Black was the one that set up the setting for steroids at the NFL.

He is such a high-profile expert, he would not risk his reputation on a driver.

Becasue of the fiasco of testing in the late 80's, NASCAR turned to Dr Black and Aegis Labs in 1990 or '91

Anonymous said...

I heard Mark Garrow on the radio say that the garage is just about 100% supportive of NASCAR's drug policy. Seems like Jeremy is only getting support from the media-types and bloggers

Anonymous said...

I think that the way the reporting of Mayfield by NASCAR media may contribute to the lack of respect for the sport.

In all the other sports, the media goes after the athlete who failed the drug test. The media has hounded A-Rod, Roger Clemmens, Barry, etc. NEVER do they hound the teams the way NASCAR is being hounded.

Why isn't the media at Jeremy's garage insisting he give details? Why aren't the demanding he give a press conference? Why haven't they gotten a comment from his sponsor? Why hasn't Jeremy addressed the drivers?

I think there is porobably little respect for NASCAR media who doesn't seem to be able to follow a story. I know that when Roger Godell from the NFL makes a statement, that's it. No further comments. The media then goes after the player.

Anonymous said...

You are 100% right on about the NASCAR media. They are like a little club and are totally incestuous with NASCAR. They set their own little rules about what should and shouldn't be reported, and seem to value their relationships with the drivers more than their obligation to track down a story.

On one hand, I somewhat understand their predicament -- they are in such an isolated bubble that if they burn only a few bridges, it can make their job very difficult for the rest of the year because NASCAR is so close-knit. Still - these journalists have COMPLETELY dropped the ball on this story. Where is the follow-up? Where are the stories that put the accusations as well as Mayfield's response into some sort of context? Where are the sidebars about the testing process or the myth of false-positives? Where are the stories? They are noticeably missing as the NASCAR "reporters" simply hang out around the garage and wait like little kids for someone to throw them a bone that they all agree can be reported.

Anonymous said...

Manny Ramirez has been the laughing stock on the comedy show becasue he took femele hormones. Does anyone really think that they were on the MLB list of banned susbstances?

The explanation given is that female hormones are often taken to mask banned substances. Having a list may not be enough. Who knows, maybe taking an over the counter med is also a smoke screen for the same reason.

Why doesn't the NASCAR press go out and interview PhD forensic scientists to see if Mayfield's excuse is plausible.

There are about 40-45 federally licensed drug labs. Why hasn't the press done a study on them as compared to Aegis?

Anonymous said...

JD, I sure think it would be great if you wrote an article on how the NASCAR media has failed the Mayfield issue miserably.

We know NASCAR cannot comment. We know Mayfield won't comment. We know the garage supports NASCAR drug policy.

But I read in the last few post many good ideas the media can pursue and they don't. Maybe you can light a fire under them, so they earn their keep.

Thanks.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Pete Pistone over at cbs.com has written some good articles on his blog about the subject.

I asked SPEED why they did not cover the press conference live and did not get an answer.

No clue why they did not go after it on Wind Tunnel or at least give the panel one comment about it on TWIN.

It sure is interesting to watch.

JD

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, information from the press conference was going to be limited. It's the Mayfiled side that we know nothing about. What did he take? Only he can tell us. Is he planning on coming back? How? Why hasn't he started the process. (Someone like me thinks he's trying to clear up his body before he is tested again.) Is he going to fight the results? What are the benchmarks on his timeline?

Anonymous said...

Jenna Fryer has a really dumb story out now titled: "AP Source: Mayfield did not use steroids."

Yes, according to her exclusive "source", Mayfield did not use performance enhancing drugs.

Uh, Jenna? Jim Hunter already said that at the initial press conference. He said the drug was not performance enhancing in addition to saying it was not alcohol.

But this "source" gives Fryer a chance to look like she's writing a new story when in fact, there is no new news attached to it. It's all a rehash.

I read the couple of comments earlier today in this blog about how the NASCAR media is looking bad in all this. When I saw this story on Yahoo, I thought it was funny there was such a blatant example of this so I came here to comment. At this rate, they're never going to be taken seriously, which is probably why the TV shows on ESPN at large generally ignore them. Did you notice that ESPN TV at large is completely ignoring this story since Saturday night? Because they know their NASCAR reporters and the print media don't have anything new they can use as source material.

Anonymous said...

anon@ 3.19

Really good point about Fryer. She's not worse than Ed Hinton's contribution to the topic on Monday's roundtable. All he can see is conspirancy without taking time to actually investigate.

I'm wondering about Paul Chodora. Is he still friends with Mayfield? Do they socialize? Who is Mayfield's social circle on Sunday nights after a race?

Since everything Mayfield took was over the counter and a legal prescription, why doesn't he take it again and go to another lab and PROVE that the 2 meds morph into a banned substance?

Heavens, if Mayfield came clean, I'm sure a REAL reporter would be willing to be a guinea pig, to prove a point.

Anonymous said...

JD, you are right about Pete Pistone on his CBS column. The last comment was something like Mayfield knew the rules and he broke them--whether intentionally or not-- but he must pay the price--for the safety of other drivers. (not an exact quote)

Good article.

Anonymous said...

This is an example of NASCAR media and why we will never be respected by other sport fans.

Thomas Pope, Fayetteville Observer, said " I did a one-on-one, face-to-face interview in Feb., and his (Mayfiled's) teeth looked fine to me." Mr Pope gives this as evidense that Mayfield is not a user. ( Mr. Pope says meth user, but Mayfield has not been accused of using meth.)

I guess we can just cancell the drug tests and just have Mr Pope go look at drivers?!!!

No wonder people think we're a farce.

darbar said...

http://sports.yahoo.com/nascar/news?slug=txnascarmayfieldsuspen&prov=st&type=lgns


Here's an interesting article by Jenna Fryer. While there are a lot of interesting tidbits, the most interesting is near the end of the article when someone says they have to take action because of "misuse or abuse" of a drug. I wonder what their definition of misuse might be?

Daly Planet Editor said...

Since the comments in this post are now over 100, I am going to put up a new one that will focus on the situation at present and also take into consideration Mayfield's upcoming statment.

We are told it will be released on Friday, not sure if Mayfield will be on-camera or it will just be a text document.

Keep it here and look for the news post.

Great comments read by many media members. Special thanks to Pete Pistone for taking the time to contribute.

JD

kbaskins said...

Apparent rebuttal by NASCAR: They say they verbally informed Mayfield three times last week about what he tested positive for. They're calling BS on Mayfield.

Also, Mayfield was not supposed to be at the All-Star race, even in the hospitality suites.

http://hamptonroads.com/2009/05/nascar-counters-mayfields-claims

--KarenB

Anonymous said...

Nascar's privacy policies have allowed Mayfield to go on the offensive. He's playing the victim and daring Nascar to reveal the drug and give him some legal recourse. He's got no other choice if he wants to keep his reputation in tact. He's lying and he'll get exposed...sooner or later one of his party buddies will out him.