Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mayfield And The Media About To Dance Again

The Tuesday story from AP reporter Jenna Fryer opened the door to the next chapter of the Jeremy Mayfield saga. It puts in serious doubt Mayfield's claims that a mix of prescription drugs and an over-the-counter sinus medicine caused his failed drug test.

Click here for the direct link to Fyer's story. Here are some excerpts:

NASCAR filed court documents Monday night that show an independent laboratory found an illegal substance in the urine sample that led to Jeremy Mayfield's suspension for a failed drug test.

The documents, part of NASCAR's response to Mayfield's lawsuit to have his indefinite suspension lifted, show that Medtox Laboratories in Minnesota tested both his "A" and backup "B" samples last week and "confirmed the presence" of a substance that is blacked out in the filing.

In Monday's filing, NASCAR claimed Mayfield provided a prescription for Adderall that he received from the "Vitality Anti-Aging Center & Medical Spa" in Hickory, and not his personal physician.

Mayfield had been using the media to carry his message of innocence to the public since the original suspension. "What if he is innocent?" said many journalists on the Internet, on TV and in print. Certainly, Mayfield's claims originally raised questions.

Currently, there is a gag order for both sides, who will meet in US District court on Wednesday. Mayfield is seeking an injunction that will allow him to return to racing during this process. That could be as early as this weekend in Daytona.

Tuesday and Wednesday should be interesting where this topic and the media are concerned. If you hear this disussion on the radio or see this topic appear on ESPN or another TV network, please tell us how it went and how both Mayfield and the sport were treated.

TDP is a TV and media blog. The Mayfield topic should slowly start to move from Fryer's AP report onto mainstream media like SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, and CNN. It may be a topic for Sirius Channel 128 as well as Internet podcasts like Rowdy and others.

We welcome your comments on the role of the media in the Mayfield issue. To add your opinion on this topic, just click the comments button below. This is a family-friendly website, so please keep that in mind when posting. Thanks for stopping by The Daly Planet.


The Loose Wheel said...

I just shake my head at this and wonder what Jeremy was or even is thinking.

Test 1, maybe there was a mistake but now for a second party to confirm? Losing credibility by the minute Jeremy.

Any topic on the Weber Daytona suspension coming soon?

Anonymous said...

Mayfield is toast, and it is a shame the NASCAR media isn't accurately portraying it as such.

I'd like to see some follow-up stories looking into a variety of Mayfield's claims, but I doubt we'll get it.

This latest revelation - that the prescription Mayfield had (the one he got only days before his random test) now comes from some bizarro spa and not his real physician is just so laughable. It makes him and his case look like a joke.

For Mayfield to win in court, he has to do more than show the test was flawed (although I haven't seen any evidence of this and his repeated claims that it didn't follow federal employee guidelines is ludicrous - he might as well claim they didn't follow McDonald'd employee guidelines because neither applies to NASCAR drivers). No, he must also show that NASCAR has acted improperly.

This looks like a slam-dunk against Mayfield, especially the latest info, and I hope once he loses he will eventually get the help he desperately needs.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to add to my comments above so that they are not deleted as being not media-centric enough.

One thing I am wondering is why we are only finding out now that Mayfield got his funny Rx from the Vitality Anti-Aging Center & Medical Spa and not a real doctor. Why has the NASCAR media never asked about this before? How could such a vital piece of information - which goes right to the heart of the credibility issue - not surface until now? And why does it surface in the reading of court documents and not in the asking of questions?

I think the NASCAR media has been woefully shamed by this Mayfield story - from having non-beat reporters break big stories about the substance, to having Marty Smith pal around with Mayfield on a sponsor trailer, where they not only exchange opinions, but Smith prints that he told his interview subject his opinion (a journalistic ethics violation if ever there was one).

The NASCAR media, or more importantly the editors who bankroll their get-paid-to-watch-races lifestyle, need to take a good hard look at their real value. If I were a newspaper editor with a full-time NASCAR writer, I would have that guy in my office to ask why I haven't gotten any real stories except who won the race? These NASCAR reporters just seem so happy to be at the track and buddying with their favorite drivers that I think they've forgotten their real role: as independent journalists.

NASCAR fans have been the losers here as the race media has given equal weight to Mayfield and NASCAR's claims, when it is becoming increasingly clear that Mayfield's stories are bogus and that anyone wiling to practice journalism 101 for more than 5 minutes could figure that out and provide a little editorial context.

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

I agree with Anon @ 11:33. Where has the NASCAR media been? The guys like Marty Smith, David Newton, Terry Blount, Ed Hinton, Mike Mulhern and the rest. Typical good old boy syndrome. Don't stir the pot or bite the hand that feeds you. How about some unbiased investigative reporting here guys???

And I have no clue what Mayfield was thinking. A script from where??? Vitality Anti-Aging Center & Medical Spa and not a real doctor. That sounds really, really bad to me. Sorry Jeremy, I'm not buying your story.

Richard in N.C. said...

I believe there is a huge difference between what Marty S & David Newton have written and the stuff Ed Hinton & Mulhern have trotted out. Newton is one of the very few writers I have seen who have gone to the trouble of talking to uninvolved experts and comparing the NASCAR testing program to that of another major sport (the NFL). If you go back and read Marty's description of how Mayfield acted in the infield at LMS at the all-star race it is eerie in light of all that has come out since.

Richard in N.C. said...

Since it apparently did not affect anything that came over the air, at this point I do not believe the public has a right to know what caused Bill Weber's suspension - and I am not a fan of Weber's at all. I am waiting to see whether Ed Hinton calls for the same transparency in the Weber-TNT situation that he called for in the Mayfield-NASCAR drug testing matter.

marc said...

Note for the people laughing at the thought of having a "real" doctor issue a script to Mayfield a question: Did you do the slightest bit of thought, or more importantly research, before letting loose with a comment?

Obviously not.

That said, it's a bit strange he was anywhere near that place but, I'd bet 10 bucks to your single Krispy Kreme donut he was there alongside his wife as she availed herself of other services there.

Deborah said...

I think there are some in the motorsports media, mostly those in the print media, such as Ryan McGhee, David Newton, Bob Pockrass and Jenna Fryer who have tried to ask questions and present as many details as possible. Problem is that there's a gag order so many of those who are directly involved in this case can't comment on it. I would like to see someone in the media look into what the story is with the Vitality Anti-Aging Center & Medical Spa.

Anonymous said...

You need to reprint all of the comments from those people that came on here strongly defending Mayfield, and basting NASCAR as if they were making all of this up.

Daly Planet Editor said...

Anon 4:10PM,

I think we had a mix of folks who did not understand the issue and who felt that Mayfield had enough of a history in the sport to get his day in court.

Wednesday should be the end of the line unless something very different happens.


Richard in N.C. said...

JD, my understanding is that the hearing Wed. is just on Mayfield's application for an injunction to allow him to return to driving while the other issues are battled out - and I presume either side can appeal the judge's decision. After all that has occurred, my guess is that NASCAR wants a public settlement in or out of court.

Daly Planet Editor said...


Settlement of what? This is simply a first test of a new policy.

Unlike Mo Grant, there is nothing to settle. The only issue was a potential mistake in testing by Aegis. Now, with the second sample verified for a third drug, it should be interesting to see what Mayfield does.


Richard in N.C. said...

JD, Mayfield sued in state court for reinstatemnet, a preliminary injunction, and money damages. In response, NASCAR had the case moved to Federal Court, contested Mayfield's demands, and sued for return of, as I recall, $150,000 of prize money. Not being an attorney - thank goodness - I doubt Wed. will settle everything, but might lead to an out-of-court settlement, which I suspect NASCAR will want to be made public, except maybe for whether what Mayfield took was an illegal substance. In the event NASCAR would happen to lose Wed., I am certain they will appeal.

majorshouse said...

Mayfield just needs to hush while he can and just take his medicine like a man. He should have learned his lesoon when he burned all of his bridges with Ray Evernham. I am not saying what Ray ever di was right, but the way that Jeremy handled himself was less than professional and now he just needs to hugh and take his medicine.

Karen said...

Jeremy would be lucky if he loses if NASCAR drops their countersuit.

Matt TSB said...

re Mr. Daly's comment at 4:50 PM : I think that despite all the grief that some pit reporters are given for asking "How do you feel?" questions, most of Mayfield's supporters "felt" he didn't do anything wrong or "felt" that Nascar must be lying or "felt" that the science was faked or "felt" that the test could be result of some crazy interaction or whatever. Add in some that appeared to be actively hostile to science and technology and you pretty much had the whole Pro Mayfield/anti Nascar camp.

I don't recall any pro-Mayfield (or anti-Nascar) posts that offered anything purporting to be facts or information in support of their theories that passed even a cursory critical examination. The only explaination that didn't require a massive leap of logic or deliberate turning of a blind eye to the few facts that we knew was that Mayfield took something he knew he wasn't supposed to. Why the media did such a poor job of explaining that and everything else involved with the case I don't know, but I "feel" it has something to do with them not wanting to lose friends at the track and about zero understanding of and curiosity about the actual drug testing procedures.

Richard in N.C. said...

It is much easier to write an "interesting" article and bash NASCAR if you don't worry about the facts, or expending the effort to find and understand them.

red said...

"Mayfield And The Media About To Dance Again"

to that, all i can say is: "i won't dance/don't ask me/ i won't dance/ merci, beaucoup."

i'm soooooo over this whole episode.

@marc: thanks for the link. so, the lead guy's an MD who specializes in family practice and emergency medicine who has "years" (unspecified) of experience "working in hickory." just can't get from there to a prescription for adderall -- or whatever -- to a nascar racer, is all.

regardless, i'm no longer interested in the latest episode of "as the mayfield turns." the coffin just keeps getting more nails pounded in with each revelation.

it's over. the fat lady has already sung the first version and chorus and is moving into the second verse as we discuss whether nascar "had it out" for mayfield or mayfield is a nitwit who was caught by the random testing of all drivers and pit crew.

(by the way: any word on the 2 crew members who were suspended at the same time? no? yeah, that's what i thought.)

a nice coincidence: my word verification is "trial."

Dot said...

I don't always watch MTV & VH1 but, I haven't seen the Saving Abel video featuring Jeremy. Anybody?

Anonymous said...

If you were in Saving Abel, would you want to promote your new single with a video showing a guy best known to VH1 fans as "the guy who smoked crystal meth." Yeah, I didn't think so.

Dot said...

@ Anon 11:29, of course not. Too bad they couldn't remake it. It's a good song.

bozo said...

So, here it is on Wednesday and Jeremy wins the injunction - any of you earlier commenters want to take back your comments?