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.
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