Monday, June 1, 2009

Why Is NASCAR's Drug Policy In My Mailbox?


On a weekend where Junior and the rainy weather took the early headlines, things began to get pointed in an entirely different direction when NASCAR's new drug policy actually showed-up in the TDP email.

Once any legal proceeding gets underway, things seem to have a habit of coming out in public at odd times. Click here for a link to a website where an easy opening PDF file of the actual NASCAR drug policy is located.

Basically, it gives everyone an understanding of the broad-reaching policies that NASCAR put in place for this first season of drug testing. Lots of them make sense and some of them are clearly off-base. That is important to Jeremy Mayfield.

All of this is TV-related because the NASCAR media is about to use Saturday and Sunday to continue to talk about the pending Mayfield lawsuit. Suddenly, the Friday admission (click here) that Mayfield tested positive for an amphetamine makes a lot of sense. He was taking one.

Adderall is for the adult form of Attention Deficit Disorder, called ADHD. Mayfield's attorney said Mayfield has a prescription for this drug and on the night in question also took Claritin. This is completely in line with Mayfield's statements.

Friday's NASCAR Now on ESPN reported the facts of Mayfield's brief Friday court hearing in North Carolina, but this issue is now beginning to creep into other areas. Words used like slander, libel and the inability of a professional athlete to make a living mean only one thing. Someone wants some money.

TV showed Brian France clearly saying at an earlier press conference that Mayfield had not tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug. The suggestion was being made by the Chairman and CEO of NASCAR that Mayfield had used recreational drugs. Dr. Black from Aegis Labs backed-up France by saying a prescription drug and an over-the-counter medication could not produce this result.

Those two statements, not Mayfield's future driving or ownership issues, may be what comes back to haunt NASCAR. At a time when silence should have been golden, it was the media that forced both France and Black to make potentially damaging public statements. NASCAR made a big mistake.

This weekend, SPEED will no doubt continue to put on its happy face and only address this issue perhaps on the Sunday RaceDay show. Kyle Petty is sitting in for Jimmy Spencer and Kyle is known to have some very strong opinions on topics just like this one. RaceDay airs live Sunday at 11:30AM.

ESPN, on the other hand, has been on this story from the beginning and doing a very good job. Mike Massaro hosts the Sunday morning NASCAR Now show at 10AM and he will have reporter Angelique Chengelis live from Dover. She is a hardcore news reporter who is great with facts and should have the latest on this issue that is swirling through the garage.

Brad Daugherty is also in studio for the program and that should help. He is headed for ESPN from Dover where he will be working with Allen Bestwick and Dale Jarrett on the Saturday Nationwide Series pre-race show called NASCAR Countdown.

Bestwick is a political animal with lots of experience with NASCAR's hot topics. It should be interesting to see if he brings the Mayfield issues up with Daugherty, who is the ESPN team's only member who has extensive experience with professional sports league drug testing from his NBA days. Countdown is at 2PM ET on Saturday.

It's not every day that the NASCAR drug policy shows up in the TDP email. Thanks to those who helped to keep us in the loop on this story. There will certainly be many different views from fans on this issue, but we will once again be primarily watching to see how it is handled in the NASCAR media.

Click here for an outstanding story on this issue from the thatsracin.com website.

Please feel free to express your comment on this topic. Just click the comments button below to post. This is a family-friendly website, please keep that in mind when adding your opinion. Thanks again for stopping by.

75 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, well, well. Jeremy Mayfield sues to force NASCAR not to name the substance he tested positive for. I think everyone can draw their own conclusions - but how very telling. It seems clear that he feels that if it does become public what he tested for, the entire story changes and whatever sympathy he is earning in certain circles would evaporate. I join all NASCAR fans in hoping Mayfield gets helps and follows rehab so that he gets behind the wheel someday. As it is, he seems to be standing on the throttle while pointed at the edge of a cliff.

Anonymous said...

The defense against slander and libel is the truth, meaning if NASCAR has a positive test for a recreational drug, it is not slander or libel to say or insinuate as much at a press conference.

I find it interesting that Mayfield now floats a second hypothesis for his so-called "false positive", and at the same time seeks an injunction preventing NASCAR from revealing the drug - meaning he wants to be able to spin his alibi without NASCAR being able to refute him.

What's so sad is that none of this will lead to Mayfield getting behind the wheel of a car or being an owner in NASCAR. The more he does, the more he self-destructs.

Richard in N.C. said...

JD, it seems absolutely clear to me that the reporting of the Mayfield situation will continue to be deficient until someone compares the NASCAR program to other racing series, like the IRL, NHRA, and F1, and/or other major sports like the NFL, NBA, and MLB. The media's failure to do so clearly says to me that NASCAR's drug testing program must stack up pretty well with other major sports, otherwise the media would have already compared NASCAR's to the others.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 11:55PM,

Why would he have to go to rehab for a prescribed drug (Adderall) for a medical condition (ADHD) that existed before the current drug policy?

It seems that he may be guilty of being a knucklehead, but there is no allegation from anyone in this mix that there is some sort of addiction issue.

What has everyone jumpy is who else in the garage did not disclose a pre-existing medical condition that may now be suspended for their prescription?

The right to personal privacy vs. the rights of NASCAR to test is going to be at the center of this issue.

I have no dog in this fight and am not taking sides, just trying to see where you are coming from on this.

Lots of emailers were very happy we did not have another Aaron Fike in the sport who was abusing a clearly illegal drug as an addict.

JD

Anonymous said...

Look, ADHD is a very real condition and Adderall is very helpful in helping ease the symptoms. The problem is, Aderrall also helps with focus, which is why it's a drug of choice for college students and baseball players. When MLB banned Amphetamines, the number of MLB players with documented ADHD rose to the point where 8% of the league now has documented ADHD and permission to take Aderrall. For those scoring at home 8% is much higher than the national average of 3%. Just because he has a prescription, doesn't mean he actually has ADHD. The bottom line is Mayfield was most likely taking Aderrall with a bogus prescription. I know in this country your innocent until proven guilty, but this is all too close to what's going on in other sports.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy HAD ato sign he agreed with NASCRA's drug policy or he could not get a license. If he did not read it, too bad.

Also, Jeremy was familiar with it when his crew guy Paul, was suspended. Jeremy fired him without complaining one bit about the policy.

If you abuse the use of a legal susbstance, you are an abuser. Jeremy tested positive for 3 susbstances. The lab eleiminated Claritin D and Adderall and he was still positive for another amphetamine.

Each susbstance has a different trace or melobite. Once I read that he takes Adderall, I sure can see him taking something else if he cannot get more Adderall.

I taught for many years at a public college, and Adderall was a favorite on campus. Students took it to stay up 24 hours for studying, or partying. It is also a favorite of truck drivers.

The reason the government has made Adderall a Schedule II drug is because:

#1 it has high potential for abuse

#2 it has accepted medical use, but it is has severe restrictions (so people can't doctor shop
and get extra prescriptions)

#3 it has a high possibility of psychological and physiological addiction

When the govenment places a medicine in Schedule II, it is saying it can be very dangerous. Other drugs in this category include morphine and oxycondone.

Now if there is a really strict drug policy, it's the World Anti-Doping one that Olypmic, and tennis atheletes are subject to. Earlier this year Rafa Nadal and other complained about the policy. They have to be available for drug testing 365 days per year. Ahead of time they must submitt where they will be for one hour a day so they can be tested.

Of course they don't have to play tennis if they don't like the policy.

Anonymous said...

I think Mayfield's story is bogus. He is naming a drug that will earn him sympathy while at the same time trying to sue NASCAR in court from saying what the drug really is. How is it he is going to name the drug and then sue NASCAR to force them not to name their findings? Well, clearly because NASCAR didn't find this ADHD drug. THey found something else. Why would NASCAR suspend him and then lay out a rehab program for him if the problem was an ADHD drug? Answer: they wouldn't.

The truth is that NASCAR found a recreational drug. Mayfield first came up with a Claritin-based story, but it didn't hold any scientific water. So now they parse through the NASCAR list and find a drug that they can claim it was that will generate sympathy for Mayfield (Aw, see, he was just taking the drug he needs).

If that was true, they should be suing NASCAR to admit that it was the RX that they found and not suing them to prevent them from saying what they found. Mayfield's story gets lamer by the day.

When you are trying to clear your name, you try and get everything out on the table, you don't try and hide the findings.

Anonymous said...

Again, let's go back to the main point: Why would Aegis - and independent lab - single out Jeremy for his use of an ADHD drug he was prescribed and then layout an illogical rehab program for him? Doesn't make sense. What makes more sense is that Dr. Black, the foremost expert, found a recreational drug - and he laid out a rehab program to help Jeremy get off it. No Dr. tries to help an ADHD patient get off his meds. Mayfield's story is bogus. But don't expect the NASCAR media to investigate. You won't even hear "Aegis" out of their mouths. It is still "NASCAR's testing" and "NASCAR's findings". Bad semantics and factually inaccurate.

Jimbacca said...

A gag order is a great thing for NASCAR. It will help keep Brian's foot in his mouth. For Jeremy it was probably requested just so the inferring would stop. The Doc and Nascar have implied many times it’s a serious drug. If it’s an ADHD drug then that’s a joke. If it is simply that then it would fall back on NASCAR and the Doc for trying to create the illusion of harder illicit drugs which is wrong. The gag order is for both sides so how would that help Jeremy push his case?

Mayfield’s story has been the same a prescription drug interacted with an over the counter. So the second hypothesis is null.

You can’t compare ratios in sports to the real world. If you took the average height of the NBA would it match that age group in the general population? If you took the average weight of a lineman in football compared to a kicker would it match?

In the end this will help the policy as it will clean up the perceived large gray area. When you have top drivers going wtf you have to wonder how broad the current measures are. You have to wonder why someone would spend all of their funds to fight something if they know they are wrong.

Anonymous said...

Athletes pay lawyers because they think they can win. There are a bunch of well-known athletes that have done it or are doing it. You can probably add thousands that we don't know about.

Some include: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Floyd Landis, Ben Johnson, Marion Barry (she denied it for about 6 years), her huband too.

You can Google and see how many athletes have failed tests, sued and have lost.

Dot said...

How long has Jeremy had ADD/ADHD?

It seems like nowadays if there's an ailment there's a pill to fix it. What did people do before the drug companies started advertising "Ask your Doctor..."?

Again I ask, why didn't he tell the testers that they might find something else other than ClaritinD ? Don't the testers have to keep all information told to them confidential? They could then verify with his Dr and everything would have been fine.

Anonymous said...

Dot, NASCAR said they excluded both Claritin D and Adderall. He had an illegal drug in his system.

Karen said...

In the NASCARA show 360 and in interviews, I never would have guessed that JM had ADHD. He looks and acts like a very laid back guy, the exact opposite of one with ADHD, ala Kenny Wallace who has said on Raceday he has it. Those two personalities couldn't be more different. Also being diagnosed in March '09? Too unbelievable for me to buy this late in his life.

Karen said...

Oops. That would be NASCAR show 360.

Dot said...

@ Anon 2:18, I was basing my comment on the court docs I read.

@ Karen, good point about Kenny W and Jeremy. I know Kenny did take some ADD drug as a kid and his mother didn't like what it did to him. I guess you learn to focus if you want to drive a race car. Good thing he can get rid of some of his energy on Race Day and Victory Lane. I also agree with you about the sudden diagnosis of Jeremy's ADD/ADHD.

If this does get to a courtroom, Jeremy's medical file will be exposed, won't it? It will be interesting to see how far this goes. Who blinks first?

Gymmie said...

@Karen--A friend of mine has ADHD and he's a recent diagnosee. He was diagnosed with it last December and he's 37. He had been told by others including his students (he use to be a college professor) but blew it off. It wasn't until he was studying for some exams last fall to get into law school (he's doing a career change and there's a long story behind it all) and that's when he started to realize that the people over the years might be correct.

So after he got through the tests, he did some research and saw himself in the books he read. Then he asked his wife to review some of the descriptions to get her take on it and she came back with "who are these people and how did they write all these books about you?" And then he started to speak with people about it and they confirmed that he did have it.

I think that there are a lot of people who may have some form of ADHD but never get diagnosed because they "deal" with it. I don't know if I do or not but in reading many of the descriptions I do see myself in it and it would explain a lot of things. So if I did pursue it I would be a late diagnosee as well (I'm 39).

Anonymous said...

Jeremy and others may not realize, amphetamine is not just an ingredient, it is a general category of drugs. The drugs that fall into this category have different formulas, molecular masses, chemical structures, etc.

It's like thinking that all colas have the same formula. Pepsi and Coka Cola are not the same. They do share ingredients, but they are not identical.

So a legal drug like Adderall that has amphetamine, is not going to have the same formula as illegal forms of amphetamines like Ecstasy, Eve, Dr Death, etc.

The same thing like opiates. The molecular mass, formula, and chemical structures of codine, morphine, and oxycondone are not the same.

Wait til Jeremy goes to court. He will have a real education in chemical molecules, and so will the public. I'm sure Aegis will have pretty colored modules to demonstrate to a jury how different each drug looks like.

Karen said...

Gymmie, I totally get your point with diagnosis at a later age in life, but it's not common. And do you really think JM acts hyperactive? I'm still not falling for his BS. If he's ADHD, why in the heck did he take Claritin D? And two of them within 24 hours at that? That was just plain stupid.

The only thing that might bite NASCAR in the butt is the allegation in the complaint filed that Sample B was not split so it could be tested by Aegis and a lab of JM's choice. Now there's nothing to test. I will say the complaint was craftily created.

Anonymous said...

The fact is thar Adderall is an amphetamine, and can improve both reflexes and endurance, just like any speed.
Hence it falls in the "Performance Enhancing" catagory.
It is also one of the most abused drugs in America, and messes someone up as bad as if they were on meth (crank) if abused.
'Nuff said

BLooDSHoT said...

Quote--
"So a legal drug like Adderall that has amphetamine, is not going to have the same formula as illegal forms of amphetamines like Ecstasy, Eve, Dr Death, etc."

Actualy Adderall has 3 types of amphetamines. If abused it can be as bad a meth, and is often injected. Withdrawel by a heavy user includes paranoia and delusions, just like meth. It causes skin problems just like meth. Even at prescribed doses.

So the statement that Adderal is safe just because it's prescribed is crap.

It may help some people when taken legaly, but it's too easy to just take a few more than usual before a race for the performance and endurance benifits.

BLooDSHoT

red said...

ok, reality check here:
it has been clearly stated that the testing indicated both adderall and claritin AND aegis also stated that the substance which led to the suspension was neither of those. there was a substance in addition to the claritin and adderall and THAT is why mayfield has been suspended.

so, discussion about what he may/may not have and what it may have meant for the testing procedure is irrelevant to the suspension, albeit interesting!

mayfield's account has morphed several times since the suspension was announced and it's interesting that, even though he now is in possession of EXACTLY what substance led to his suspension, he/his lawyer continue to refuse to identify it specifically. as an intended consequence, the misinformation continues.

for me, the reality is that both A and B samples tested positive for a substance that is not claritin or adderall, as aegis identified both of those and did not read a positive result based on their presence. mayfield continues to refuse to identify the substance that led directly to his suspension. mayfield claimed he wasn't told "in writing" why he tested positive, that it was a drug interaction (not a false positive!) and now he's saying it was a false positive based on his adderall prescription.

all other issues aside, for me the bottom line is he tested positive for a prohibited substance. everything else is smoke and mirrors -- many of which could be eliminated if the individual involved wished to do so.

jd, you wrote: "The right to personal privacy vs. the rights of NASCAR to test is going to be at the center of this issue. " i disagree. the center of the issue is the presence of a banned substance that has nothing to do with whatever condition mayfield may have. if one signs a document that authorizes random drug testing, one concedes a level of privacy if a test (or two!) comes back with a positive result. granted, most people who submit to drug testing are not in the media focus as are athletes but that comes with the job. sorta "you knew the job was dangerous when you took it!"

Anonymous said...

Wow, JD I'm pretty impressed. Now, if a NA$CAR Rule Book would suddenly show up in your mail. You could move to the head of the class.
The folks running NA$CAR, remind me of the Not Ready For Prime Time Players.
Look at the way His Royal Highness, handled the Marissa Grant situation, Jeremy, now Carl Long. These have all been PR disasters. Regardless of the facts. These have all been badly botched, one way or another. NA$CAR had better be a centipede, the way they keep shooting themselves in the foot.

dawg

Anonymous said...

Reading these comments is very educational. One of the real variables here is Bill Diehl, JM's attorney. He loves high profile cases + he has ab impressive record. One of my friends' business was represented by Diehl + his take is 'NASCAR won't know what hit them.' There's a lot more to this story.

Anonymous said...

Reading these posts it is plain to see that an alarming amount of people have been drinking the drug war kool-aid.
I have,by law,been forced to submit myself to drug tests for the last 22 years,never a failure.
I resent every single one!I am worth more than a cup of urine! Hasn't anyone noticed that only a small segment of society is being forced to submit? If a person is doing their job well and receiving high marks then what business is it of anyones what a person does in the privacy of their own home? Useing that standard of mesurement its plain to see the whole issue at hand is crowd control.Personal freedom scares the poo out of some people.

Anonymous said...

You need to get your facts right bud. Mayfield's LAWYER said it was amphetamines. NASCAR said he tested for THREE substances - the illegal drug, an OTC and a prescription drug. Why do you think the toxicology report was missing from the court filings?

Anonymous said...

Mayfield got busted with a recreational drug. That is why he has asked a court to prohibit NASCAR from naming the drug. He doesn't want them naming the drug they tested him positive for, because it would smash his alibi to smithereens.

Mayfield will never win in court. Anyone who thinks differently doesn't understand the science Aegis is employing.

Bill H said...

Why is Nascar right and Mayfield wrong? Just because Nascar says he did something in violation, with out naming the substance, and then brought out the kool-aid for everyone to drink doesn't not mean they are correct. Nascar has a long history of making up rules as they go along, especially when it concerns someone outside of the "network" (ie the big teams).

This has turned into a case of Mayfield is guilty and has to prove his innoncence while Nascar just has to say he did it and not show their proof.

Looking at the Nascar policy, one of their "suspicions" of drug use is dialated or constricted pupils. If any of the drivers had used a certain little "preformance enhancing" pill sold by a previous sponsor they would have been under suspicion.

Their alchohol test is a little flakey, if a winner of an event drinks one of their sponsors alchoholic beverages in victory lane they could easily top the .02% limit, especially if it is a hot day and they are dehydrated.

On the funny side, "slurred speech" is another suspicion, Ward Burton would have failed this one every week.

Overall the media needs to be all over this no matter what way it swings, if they gloss it over it will allow Nascar to use this policy as a way of eliminating drivers / crew they don't want.

Bill H

bevo said...

@red- Amen!
Mayfield's story has changed so many times that people forget the central issue. Now that he has a lawyer even more tangents will be thrown out there.

"If you can't dazzle them with brilliance baffle them with ..."

Anonymous said...

@Red & Bevo

how has Mayfield's story changed? He has always said this was caused by a prescription + OTC.

Anonymous said...

I hear Mr Diehl is a good lawyer, but didn't he lose a big murder case? I think the guy was convicted. Even vick, who hired Billy Martin, one of the best in the nation, went to jail.

The more that comes out, the worse Mayfield looks to the other NASCAR drivers. When they find out he is/was on something, they don't want him driving next to them, going at 200 miles per hour.

Anonymous said...

Bill H,

A careful reading of the policy says they cannot drink before and during. Once the race is over, the can get blottoed if they want to.

Jeremy and his lawyer keep up the exchange of Claritin and Claritin D. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING, people!!!

That will not be lost on a judge.

Anonymous said...

I like Jeremy, but if I were a professional driver with ADD/ADHD, surely my physician would have prescribed (and I would have requested) a non-addictive medication to help with symptoms (e.g. strattera).

Oh, and just because he doesn't "look" or "act" like he has ADD/ADHD, doesn't mean he doesn't have it. Not all folks who suffer with the ailment exhibit overt symptoms. In fact, those who aren't obviously hyperactive are often late to be diagnosed.

Just an unfortunate situation all the way around.

bevo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bevo said...

@annonymous 10:30am- just go to Jayski and read from 5/9 to now.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Here is the additional point from NASCAR that readers have been talking about. NASCAR is standing by the assertion that there were three drugs and one was recreational.

"Hendrick, the NASCAR attorney, said Mayfield tested positive for three drugs. Hendrick said officials threw out two because Mayfield had an explanation."

"Hendrick said the third drug is a dangerous illegal substance, but did not name it. At one point, Hendrick said this case is not about amphetamines.”

"Test results show high levels of the recreational drug, said Hendrick."

Thanks to thatsracin.com for that additional content.

JD

Anonymous said...

Bill H said:
This has turned into a case of Mayfield is guilty and has to prove his innoncence while Nascar just has to say he did it and not show their proof.Actually, NASCAR has shown their proof. Not to you, but to Mayfield and his attorney. And, yes, he is guilty. He tested positive. And it wasn't NASCAR's test. The test was done by an outside lab of undisputed high reputation. This is the same lab that has busted countless multi-millionaire athletes and never had a test overturned. This is a company (Aegis) that employs different and more complex testing methods than any other lab in the country. No other lab is capable of doing some of the testing they do. I don't expect you to know this, because the media has failed in reporting on the testing process and given equal weight to these ridiculous alibis by Mayfield... but suffice to say the test isn't bogus, the test wasn't conducted by NASCAR, the test results were obtained by independent scientists and provided to NASCAR (and Mayfield), and so far Mayfield has offered up not legitimate excuse or alibi for his positive test. He keep changing his story about taking this or that, but none of it adds up as the PhD scientist who runs Aegis has repeatedly said.

It is so sad how many people distrust NASCAR. They are only doing the right thing. They hire the biggest and best lab in the country to test their drivers for them, and when a test comes back that one driver was taking recreational drugs, they suspended him. Since then, the suspended driver has ignored the pleas to go into rehab and get his career back on track, and instead has conducted himself erratically and offered up multiple alibis that hold no weight and do not effectively dispute the science. I am not impressed by the fact that he has hired a big-time lawyer, I am not distracted by the lawyer's tactics of blame, and most of all I think it is severly disappointing that Mayfield has sued NASCAR to force them not to reveal the drug he tested positive for. That's not the behavior of someone trying to clear his name.

Anonymous said...

@Bevo

I have read all the stories linked by Jayski & elsewhere and yes, there have been changes in the "when, if & how Mayfield was notified as to what he tested positive for". I guess my point was that the prescription + OTC explanation hasn't changed.

HarpAmy/Amy in FL said...

My take on it in defense of JM is that I just heard that Red Bull has tested positive for traces of cocaine in the beverage and has therefore been banned in Germany. If that is the case, then do all sports energy drinks have that in them? If they do, then could the All-Sport drink that sponsors JM have it in it? Could Jeremy have just had some of his sponsor's beverage?

Also, eating anything with poppy seeds in it can cause a positive drug test for opium. Could he just have had a poppy seed muffin/bread or had a salad with poppy seed dressing?

I am just trying to throw out some suggestions. I don't have a dog in this fight. I feel bad for Jeremy but also want him to get help if he indeed needs it.

In regards to the ADHD, my brother was diagnosed with severe ADHD with type 2 bi-polar just about a year ago at the age of 33. He does NOT act hyper or anything of the sorts. He is more moody than a girl can ever dream of being. He also said that since 3rd grade that he has had trouble with racing thoughts and after doing some soul searching and research, he went to the doctor and finally found out why he was what he was. I hope that that all makes sense. He said that watching tv and playing video games actually helps him immensely. I don't know if he is taking his meds or not or just learned how to deal with it on his own.

Just offering my 2 cents worth.

Anonymous said...

This is why we need some good reporting on the testing process.

All this stuff about "Red Bull shows traces of cocaine in some tests" ignores totally what Aegis is doing, how advanced their process is, how unique and developed it is, and how much redundancy and double-checking is built into the complex process.

I am sure there are many consumer-level tests or simple pee-in-a-cup-and-let-the-machine-spit-out-a-result type of tests in which a substance like Red Bull could accidentally trigger something else to show up. But that is not what is happening here. The biggest lab in the country is a little more complex than that, and a lot more careful and precise in their testing before they destroy an athlete's career with an accusation, or in this case a positive test result.

A positive test result from Aegis is not "we tested it and it tested positive", but a conclusion by a team of PhD scientists who have done extensive testing on a sample that it contains the drug they say it does.

Attention Marty Smith: TAKE A CAMERA CREW TO AEGIS AND DO A STORY. They will dispell so many of the myths being circulated.

Anonymous said...

I read Jeremy's complaint and he added something else. He inhaled fumes in an accident. That's the first time I had seen that.

Bottom line is that Aegis has to show that the test prove Mayfield had an illegal substance. Everything else is to keep people's eye off the ball.

Anonymous said...

He inhaled fumes? That's a new one!

Gymmie said...

@Karen--I don't think it's common because many of us here are of an age where these diagnoses weren't made because we didn't have a name for it back then. So people have dealt over the years and haven't looked into it further as we got older, but just continued to 'deal'. But if folks really started to look I'd think there would be A LOT of "late" diagnoses of this. Some may or may not need medication but they at least would know *what* had been "wrong" with them all these years. Not everyone who is ADHD is bouncing off walls 24/7. You can be very mild in hyperactivity but be strong (or various degrees) in other other signs of ADHD.

@anon 10:47-EXACTLY! That's why my friend blew off the "arm chair diagnoses" before because what he *thought* ADD/ADHD meant he wasn't exhibiting (i.e. the overt bouncing off the walls) but after he finally looked into it he saw that he had many of the other symptoms. And when he did his research, he read 5 books so it wasn't like he read 1 and ran with it. He read one, saw himself in it and reviewed others that were recommended by his friend who is a clinical social worker, and with those add'l verifications and his wife's is what caused him to pursue it further.

@Amy--they've changed the testing sensitivity for poppy seeds reading as opium/opiates. So you can safely eat a poppy seed muffin and not fear. Per checking some sites on Google, the cut off is now 2000 ng/ML (vs. the 300 ng/ML it use to be) and that generally eliminates false positives from poppy seeds. Some like the military have a higher cut off of 3000 ng/ML. Most poppy seed foods read about 250 ng/ML several hours after ingestion so you would have to have eaten a lot to get close to the new cut off. If you eat 3 teaspoons of the seeds that'll read about 1200 ng/ML.

I'm glad your brother pursued what was going on with him all these years and is getting the help he needs to deal.

Karen said...

Reading NASCAR's drug policy, it states in there they have a right to release the name of the drug that caused the positive test. JM signed that at the beginning of the year. So whether his lawyer can prevent that from coming out is highly unlikely.

Anonymous said...

I read Mayfield's complaint and actually find some of the items kinda funny.

About 9 days after his urine sample came back positive, Mayfield states he was refused the opportunity to give a new sample for another test!!

That is hilarious. Can you imagine getting a DUI and then a couple of days later ask for another blood-alcohol test, and if the PD refuses, use that as a defense in court.

In the complaint, Mayfield NEVER states he has never taken any illegal drugs. He has said it only when talking to the friendly pro-Mayfield press.

In the complaint, it says that Mayfield "did not consume any illegal susbstance in any relevant period prior" to the test on May 1.

So, I guess I wonder when was the last time Mayfield took an illegal drug. Forget the relevant period.

I also wonder if Mafield was ever tested prior to May 1. When Paul Chodora, his pit guy was suspended, it was reported that he had not been part of the pre-testing NASCAR had done in January. Well, the same could be for Mayfield. He was not licensed until Feb. 2 and the pre-testing had already been done.

Anonymous said...

Oop! Mayfield was approved on Feb. 5th, not the 2nd.

majorshouse said...

I feel like you know the rules and if you break them, you bear the consequences and I have no sympathy and the revelation from NASCAR that it was not prescirption or a over the counter medicine tells me a lot and jeremy is just digging his hole deeper and I personally have no tolerance for this or any sympathy for him.

Anonymous said...

Reading through both the drug policy, Mayfield's complaints filed in court, and doing some research on Adderall, NASCAR will have some several problems in court. The drug policy is vague, like the "actions detrimental to stock car racing" rule. They do not define who or what a NASCAR official is. They also do not define the drugs or list them. Caffeine is a performance enhancing drug but it isn't listed anywhere in the drug policy. So is Viagra. And it's not listed anywhere in the drug policy. That's because there is no list. It's very open to interpretation and conjecture.

Based on what they have as symptoms of drug abuse, King Brian should be tested based on his press conferences and how he speaks and conducts them.

If what Mayfield has said is true about not giving the B Sample, the shoddy conditions in which the specimen cups were stored and handled, the conditions under which the sample was collected, the timelines, trying to contact AEGIS labs and their not replying, plus his conversations in which Dr. Black dismissed Mayfield's ADHD cclaims and medication, then things don't look too good for NASCAR or Aegis labs.

ADHD is a condition that does affect adults as well as children. We just do hear or read very much about adults having it.

As to the Adderall,besides the fact that it is an amphetamine and will test positive for that, it also gives a false positive for methamphetamine, which some people consider to be a recreational drug.

Right now, we're all speculating on what we have and haven't seen or heard.Hopefully more info will come out so a better informed decision and opinion can be made.

Richard in N.C. said...

Despite what many in the media like to imply, I believe it is unreasonable to assume that NASCAR gave into pressure to adopt a stronger drug testing program, and then devised a slap-dash program and convinced one of the largest most respected drug testing labs in the country to put its reputation on the line to administer the program. I believe it is more reasonable to assume that NASCAR's program is much better than how the media has portrayed it - especially since I have seen no one in the media contrast NASCAR's program with that of any other major racing series.

On May 16th Jenna Fryer quotes Mayfield as saying in part "They didn't say what I took....On (May 7)I got a call and said you've tested positive for whatever they called it." Now if Mayfield's statement is accurate, why would a driver get a call from Dr. Black telling him that he had failed a drug test and not ask what he had tested positive for - unless the driver knew he had taken a prohibited substance or an excess amount of a restricted substance, so he did not need to ask? If Mayfield is to be believed about his conversation with Dr. Black, I have not read where any reporter asked Mayfield why he did not ask Dr. Black what he tested positive for.

Razz said...

Wow .. still the same "guilty until proven innocent mentality." Shameful.

As for the issue at hand, people should understand the difference between legal wrangling and the normal world. Quit attributing what Mayfield's lawyer says to Mayfield's own words. the injunction is purely a legal tactic and should not be interpreted as Mayfield himself desiring to hide anything.

There's also a terrible misunderstanding of how drug testing works. Drug tests do NOT detect a particular drug. They detect substances (metabolites) that the body produces as a result of using drugs, and in many cases, different drugs and different substances produce the same metabolites. This is what produces false positives.

No drug lab can say they found any specific drug. All they can say is that they found a metabolite that with x degree of certainty was produced by such and such a drug.

'X', of course, is where the difficulty lies. It may be 99% or more but it's never 100% (contrary to popular belief, even DNA testing is not 100% certain.)

While I couldn't find any specific stats for Aegis labs, government documents from a few years ago showed that government certified labs (of which Aegis is one) had a 2% failure rate for amphetamine testing. That's quite interesting now that we know Mayfield's positive was for an amphetimine.

Some may recall (unlikely) that the list I linked to here a few weeks ago of 400+ substances that can cause a false positive includes both Adderall and Claratin D.

It's also interesting that one of Mayfield's lawyers brought up "federal employee drug testing guidelines" in court. As I posted before, if NASCAR has ANY federal contracts exceeding a certain dollar figure (from memory, I believ it's $25,000)then NASCAR MUST, by law, abide by those guidelines.

If NASCAR is indeed legally obligated to follow those guidelines (and since it was brought up in court, it's very probable), then that means that Mayfield was exactly correct that they should have been given the opportunity for a second lab to test the second sample. A statement, I might remind you, that many commentators excoriated Mayfield for making.

Finally, for all those Defenders of Aegis' Honor and Infallibility, please take note of the other issue brought up in court; namely, that the second sample was tampered with prior to the test. If true, that's a big red flag indicative of some serious protocol failure at Aegis labs. if they make a mistake with something as routine as that, what problematic issues may be hiding in their actual testing procedures?

From a legal standpoint, this is looking worse and worse for NASCAR, no matter what damage control they spin to the public and no matter what "shut up and drive" orders they give to the drivers.

Anonymous said...

The complaint did not say the B sample was tampered with. What they said was that since the seal was taken off to have the urine tested, (even though there is enough urine to test again), they would not consider it because it is not a sealed sample for their testing purposes.

I think NASCAR looks stronger than before. They have taken a strong stand--they will not settle. They plan to prove their suspension is correct.

As a reminder, Dr Black has a PhD in legal medicine, specifically forensic toxicology. The lab is one of about 60 federally certified labs in the US. I bet he is considered an expert in his field. Mr Diehl is not.

Gymmie said...

@Razz--agreed! That also bothered me that Aegis redid the second sample instead of forwarding to an independent lab based on the set protocol. For a "professional" lab they would know the protocol like the back of their hand.

Scott Orr said...
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Anonymous said...

NASCAR is in deep you-know-what.

They refused to name the drug Mayfield is accused of using, but France was happy to shoot off his mouth in public about the whole "recreational" bit.

The vagueness of the NASCAR rules, while they work in NASCAR's own little world, will not work well in a court of law.

I think Mayfield has them exactly where he wants them, and I hope he does NOT settle (which would come with a gag order)--I want to see this go to court so we can see Brian and Company sweat it out on the stand.

Dot said...

@ Gymmie, Your 2:54 comment was outstanding. I knew they changed the poppy seed numbers to prevent the false positives. Good for you to state the numbers. Imagine the job losses in the past.

I learn so much from the Planeteers. ADD/ADHD and drug testing are just the recent ones. I have always associated ADD/ADHD with bouncing off the walls. Now I know there's more to it.

I still can't make up my mind on this whole thing. I am trying not to take sides. I'll just keep reading and learning.

Topgeardan said...

A couple of points:

#1) To JD:
In your article you state that Brian France and Dr. Black of Aegis were "forced to make statemets" by the media. Sorry, nobody forced anybody. If my timeline is correct, France and Black could have legitimately refused to comment based on the ongoing case. That they chose to speak out was their own decision.

2) Those who proclaim with certainty what is or is not going to happen in this matter have apparently never been involved in a court case.

3) The person who claimed that Aegis is the largest drug testing firm is misinformed. They aren't even #2, by a long shot. UCLA Olympic Testing Lab does four times as much testing as the next in the world, a cologne Germany firm, according to the LA Times in 2006.

3) Dr. Black of Aegis is not just a spokesman, he OWNS THE COMPANY. Of course he's going to state that what Jeremy Mayfield claims is impossible! If he concedes otherwise he's going to undermine the credibility of his own firm, and could lose major clients.

4) Of course JM is looking for money. His reputation is already ruined in many peoples' minds, and I only have to point to this comment section as proof. As former Transportation Secretary Ray Donovan replied when asked how he felt at being found not guilty of Federal corruption charges: "Where do I go to get back my reputation?"

Topgeardan

Anonymous said...

If they story Mayfield tells is true, it seems like there are a lot of things that should have happened differently prior the suspension. Even if you believe every word he says, it seems clear on its face he was not informing Dr. Black of the drugs he was taking at the time, as he was required to do under the policy. It also seems like he is trying to throw everything but the kitchen sink at NASCAR - from claiming he inhaled fumes in a Dega crash, to claiming the test tubes were unsterile, to claiming he didn't see the labels on the bottles. How about just claiming you were clean? I mean really.

Anonymous said...

3) Dr. Black of Aegis is not just a spokesman, he OWNS THE COMPANY. Of course he's going to state that what Jeremy Mayfield claims is impossible! If he concedes otherwise he's going to undermine the credibility of his own firm, and could lose major clients.Actually, the thing he could do to undermine his credibility would be to personally stand by a test that could be easily challenged either as faultily conducted or bearing incorrect results. Digging in your heels and insisting you are right is not something Black is doing because he is trying to defend his company, but because he believes that his science has done the legwork both in proving a positive and eliminating possible alternatives. His entire credibility rests on getting it RIGHT, not on putting out a story and then sticking to it.

There are plenty of folk who are quick to cast aspersions on NASCAR -- they have no problem of accusing NASCAR of fraud, or of cooking things up for revenge. And that is fine if you believe that. But to date no one has shown me one reason why Aegis would be biased, would doctor the results, or would put out and stand by a test result that could be easily scrutinized. The fact is that Aegis is totally unbiased in this case, and for all the excuses, alibis, and countercharges, I still haven't seen one piece of evidence that leads me to believe Aegis' testing and results are incorrect. Mayfield suing NASCAR to forced them not to name the substance when he should be the one fighting for transparancy doesn't help things, either.

Anonymous said...

How come no one at ESPN has done an interview with the other crew members who tested positive at the same time in the same random test as Mayfield. It would be really interesting to see if any of them a) agreed with Mayfield that the testing facility was unsterile b) planned to dispute the tests and c) if any of them have entered the NASCAR-mandated rehab program that came with their suspension.

In my opinion, crew members are as much a part of the sport and competition and sport as drivers -- yet NASCAR Now hasn't even bothered to follow-up with people who could shed much light on many of the issues surrounding Mayfield, from testing conditions, to the way in which they were notified of results, etc. It would be interesting to see if their stories of going through the process match Mayfield's or match NASCAR's.

Anonymous said...
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Gymmie said...

@anon 10:22--I believe the same!

@Dot--you're welcome! Yes I remember in the 80s/90s hearing of people being fired and athletes being suspended from playing for false positives.

Anonymous said...

Mayfield has them where he wants them? Yeah, he's suspended and fighting a losing case - good job getting Nascar! Not!

In court Friday, a NASCAR attorney told a judge that Mayfield tested positive for a “dangerous illegal” drug. They also said that Aegis followed federal guidelines and had the second sample sent out to be tested at a separate facility, which showed the same results.

I think Mayfield is looking at the case NASCAR recently settled with the African-American official who claimed she was treated racist. She sued for $225 million, NASCAR decided the expense of fighting and the negative headlines were too costly, and settled for around 1/10th of that, which is still a boatload of money. I think at this point Mayfield is thinking he can work the same deal and get a big check.

The only problem is that NASCAR has a self-interest in promoting a drug-free workplace and is serious about their policy. Since NASCAR has no legit reason to doubt the results which we now know were verified by TWO drug-testing labs, then I don't see how NASCAR loses this one.

Mayfield is screwed unless he owns up to his misdeed, enters the prescribed rehab, and help himself (first) and his team (second). I wish him the best, but he doesn't seem to want the help. Sad.

Dot said...

@ Anon 11:15, you brought up good points. I agree that the crew members are just as important as drivers. As they say, there's no I in team.

NASCAR is really on a tear with this drug testing. I mentioned in the truck thread that a McCumbee crew member just got suspended. No details on what the substance was.

Karen said...

@11:42 p.m. You need to reread the story on the court hearing and reread the Complaint. It was not tested by two separate labs; only by Aegis.

Anonymous said...

There seems to be a lot of comments about false-positives and how often them happen. What no one seems to be able to do is to name one single athllete that has beaten the charge. Not one. Why?

Sure, I think there have been errors, but where are they? Many of the athletic stars hire the best lawyers money can buy, and yet they are unable to overturn their positive tests. So, what are the chances Mayfield will be the first?

Anonymous said...

I just read Mayfield's lawsuit. It says he was diagnosed as being ADHD on March 30, 2009 - only 30 days before he was randomly tested. Does that sound a little fishy to anyone else?

Anonymous said...

[quote]What no one seems to be able to do is to name one single athllete that has beaten the charge. Not one. Why? [/quote]

30 seconds of googling: Diane_Modahl, Jessica Hardyingeonis

Anonymous said...

Re: Diane Modhal

Um, the best you could do is a single case from 13 years ago? She wasn't tested by Aegis using their current methodology. In fact most modern methods of testing didn't even exist in 1994. Get real!

I think the challenge was to find a modern athlete with millions of dollars and fancy lawyers who has been accused and beaten the rap on appeal. There are plenty of cases to choose from, but the drug tests all hold up.

Diane Modhal. Hahaha, Good one!

Anonymous said...

Great article by David Newton today. Jeremy's complaints of the "B" sample not being tested at a different lab does not hold water at all in the NFL or the Olympics. They do not have any such restriction.

Jeremy continues to spin himself in a huge web of lies and deceit.

Richard in N.C. said...

David Newton's article is the only one I have seen where a writer went to the effort of comparing NASCAR's drug testing program to that of another major sport - although it would seem to me that comparing to another major racing series would have been a better comparison. Kudos to David Newton.

I have also not seen any NASCAR writer comment that Mayfield's complaint directly contradicts his statement to the media at LMS that he was not told what he had tested positive for - and the complaint states that he was told on the phone before he was suspended what he had tested positive for.

Anonymous said...

The nice thing about this article is that it shoots down two of Mayfield's biggest gripes as foolish.

First, Mayfield's claim that there was a requirement to test at a second lab is not true. This article reveals that while Mayfield's lawsuit cites standards for employees of the federal government as an example - it is just an example, and NASCAR drivers are not employees of the federal government. So no such requirement existed and Mayfield cannot force NASCAR to lift the suspension on this ground.

Second, the notion that somehow the test is no good because the Aegis employee didn't see Mayfield pee into the cup (he claims he was sent into a room alone). The article cleverly reminds us that the only reason to send an Aegis rep in to watch Mayfield pee is to make sure MAYFIELD doesn't tamper with the specimen. I don't think Mayfield is claiming he tampered with his own sample, so again this argument will not go far.

Kudos to NASCAR for standing up for this policy. As fans, now that we know more facts, we should unite behind NASCAR and support them in their effort to get drug abusers off the track. Enough conspiracy theories. Sometimes if it looks like a dog, barks like a dog, and wags its tail like a dog, it's not a wolf-- it's just a dog. This one is fast becoming a case of being just what it looked like from the beginning: NASCAR caught someone using something they shouldn't have been using. Period.

David said...

ESPN is reporting Jeremy was on meth JD.

Richard in N.C. said...

In my view, of more significance Ryan McGee is reporting Mayfield tested positive to methamphetamine based on 2 undisclosed sources.

David said...

We saw the same report then because thats who reported it on ESPN.com

Anonymous said...

Its unfortunate when people, who clearly have no understanding of the facts, rush to their keyboards to spew their dime-store logic and/or diagnosis on others.

This particular lab tests for threshold levels. That means even if you have a legal prescription from a real doctor, the levels in your test must match the levels of your prescription. This is not one of those "buy it at the local grocery store" type of drug tests.

Dr. Black is available to every single person who falls under the NASCAR policy and also makes hisself available to the doctors who care for those individuals.

I know Dr. Black took the time with someone's physician to clarify if a specific prescribed drug which would fall into the amphetamine positive realm was allowable. The paraphrased answer he gave was as long as that particular drug was prescribed by a licensed physician, and the individual was under the care of said physician, and the prescription was taken as directed, there would be no problem.

It is any licensed member of NASCAR, who signed the paper allowing drug testing, to be proactive about the medications they take.

It's just that simple.