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NASCAR vs Mayfield: this is becoming a national embarrassment for the sport

Jeremy Mayfield: If he's going down, he's going down swinging -- and the whole sports world is now watching NASCAR (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)




   By Mike Mulhern
     The NASCAR versus Jeremy Mayfield saga has gone almost intergalactic.   What began in early May as something of an inside-the-NASCAR-beltway story about another drug test --  under NASCAR's new, tougher drug policies, in the wake of Ron Hornaday's suddenly revealed use of testosterone cream to self-medicate himself a while back -- has morphed into a national story, with the sport of NASCAR racing looking more embarrassing with each strange new twist.
    NASCAR says Mayfield is guilty of using amphetamines and suspended him until he takes some course of rehabilitation.
    Mayfield says NASCAR's drug test itself is faulty and says he has been taking a number of independent drug tests himself that prove he is clean.
    A federal judge in Charlotte has overturned NASCAR's suspension, criticizing NASCAR for a variety of things.
    NASCAR has drug tested Mayfield again and says this test too came back positive.
   Mayfield says he had two drug tests taken that same day, by independent labs, that both showed him clean.
   Obviously there is a problem here.
   But the problem is suddenly more than just a stock car driver and NASCAR officials -- it is how the sport is being perceived around the country.
   And these latest twists and turns come on the eve of one of the sport's biggest events, the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
    The latest twist in this case came Friday evening.
    A forensic drug analysis report from LabCorp, signed by director William Lynn and dated July 17th, says that the test showed "none detected" in specimens performed for amphetamine and methamphetamine, by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. The report was provided by one of Mayfield's lawyers, John Buric, to a Charlotte television station.
   For one look at how people around the U.S. are now looking at NASCAR, read this piece in the San Francisco Chronicle: HERE.

Nascar doesn't care....

...what their image is on this, because the amount of arrogance that permeates their organization is staggering.

Let's face it....a "professional" sanctioning body/league (and yes, Nascar wants so desperately to be compared to the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL on a status level) that refuses to provide what exactly is on the banned list of substances to the very participants in their circus act....really doesn't give a rip what the general public is going to think on this.

The ultimate irony is how much Nascar does care about its image...on the things that do not matter.

Whether Jeremy Mayfield did or did not do substances isn't the issue here. It is how Nascar simply is taking this situation and showing the rest of the world just how domineering and arrogant they can be. Siding with a stepmother? Really? Can you imagine the NFL doing that with (pick a player) that has been suspended over the years?

I've followed this sport for almost 30 years now....and I can safely say that my interest level has waned the past few years so much....that aside from hitting Jayski for a headline, or Mike's site here....I have quit the sport.

Carl Long

If you have to ask why NASCAR would "pick on" one of their owners or drivers given the state of the economy regarding filling the "field" every week............why did they drop the hammer on Carl Long for a .17 cu.in enormous engine that blew up to the tune of $200,000? Brian France is living like he is the "Big Dog" but he is going to regret his short sighted ways in the long run! His Dad and Granddad must be spinning right now!

that carl long thing still

that carl long thing still makes no sense to me.
check out
to see what fans think about nascar's call.

i agree with you completely.

i agree with you completely. jim france, who owns this sport, needs to shake up his staff and maybe put some new blood in key positions. first, nascar needs a more reputable PR operation than it has; jim hunter (an old newspaper man himself) is about the only one with a clue about how to handle all this, and he's been strangely out of the mix, aside from the very first day. maybe he's just smart enough to know to stay on the sidelines. bringing in jeremy's stepmother, whatever that was all about, was a very strange move, considering how that family story appears to be developing. looks suspiciously like a cheap shot to me.
and i agree that mayfield being guilty or not is no longer the real issue -- the real heart of the matter, for mainstream america, is how nascar has been mishandling this whole case. time for a new game plan, i'd say.
or -- let's haul this whole bunch up to Washington and let some Congressional committee put everyone under oath and get some answers.....baseball players just get beaned; race drivers can die.

it can't be this weird or

it can't be this weird or difficult. NASCAR would not let me into a race without a ticket, they won't let Mike in without press credentials, and they shouldn't let Mayfield in without passing the test. But you can't send the test to the company store and claim any kind of credibility. Take 3 samples, send one to the company store, one to Mayfield's choice of lab and one to a lab selected by Mike or the other press guys. If any two come back positive, Jer takes a chair, France gets to dance. If only the company store sample comes back positive, NASCAR had better hide the checkbook from the line of lawyers holding out business cards.

well, hell yes. 'the company

well, hell yes. 'the company store,' i'm sorry, doesn't look all that credible at the moment. when labcorp -- https://www.labcorp.com/wps/portal/ -- says mayfield is clean, don't i have to question what nascar's own drug lab is up to?
but you know what will happen, don't you -- nascar and mayfield will come to an out-of-court settlement, with both sides shutting up about what they decided behind closed doors, and mayfield will never race again in nascar.....and we will never really know just what happened here. remember mauricia grant?


Thanks for the link. If he's not on meth he's on something. Not the best pr for NASCAR.

i've known jeremy for

i've known jeremy for years,ever since he first showed up....and i may be naive about it, but i've never seen any 'craziness,' which is something i certainly can't say about some of nascar's other big stars -- i could pick off two or three immediately and say 'uh, you think......' but not mayfield.
now mayfield may be guilty....but i'd like to see some clear-cut evidence. that judge better get on the ball.
we all need answers....and the sport itself is becoming a laughingstock around the country.

New and Improved Nascar

Not really. The 3rd generation Frances have made a mess of the sport. If I'd made this a career pursuit, I'd be terribly upset about the future of the sport. As a 40yr fan of the sport, I'm disgusted with the state of affairs, directly attributable to Brian France, Ramsey Poston and Mike Helton. Time for change.

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well, i'm a long-time

well, i'm a long-time fan/reporter/interested-bystander of this sport too....and i'm amazed at how deep a hole nascar has dug for itself in this mayfield thing. part of nascar's problem -- in general, not just on this issue -- is the imperial, almost arrogant approach that nascar executives have toward the little people in this sport. if you're not a big-name car owner, a superstar driver, it's like you simply don't count.
one thing about bill france jr. was he would listen to anyone in the garage on any topic -- and he knew a heck of a lot of little guys, the crewmen themself. can we say that of the current administration? I don't think so. nascar executives have lost touch with the people down in the trenches....and whenever they're called on the carpet, they act like bullies. billy jr. would be kicking some butt if he were still in charge....and so would dale sr.

Not surprised to see that

Not surprised to see that kind of reaction in a San Francisco newspaper. People there like stock car racing about as much as I like soccer, and take a rip at racing whenever they get the chance. They use this to stereotype the sport like you could do with any other sport, only it seems to be cool to pick on racing. NASCAR deserves their fair share for the most part though, as they have shown to give people "the call" over the years. It wouldn't be pass them to try to give someone the boot, also. I just want to know why they have it in for Mayfield, as he has done nothing to them to warrant a vendetta. Now his stepmother crawls out of the woodwork to speak out against him, so it makes you wonder who's pulling her strings.

well, i agree san francisco

well, i agree san francisco is not a hotbed of nascar racing generally....however the sonoma event is one of the most successful west coast nascar races, with massive media coverage that has been stunning ever since the day that track opened for cup business. if you haven't seen the traffic on race day, you've missed something
and, yes, this particularly columnist does tend to rant and rave (LOL)....however, the greater san francisco metropolitan area -- the bay area -- is the sixth largest metropolitan area in the country, so the impact of a story in the chronicle cannot be underestimated.....next to nascar's generally poor handling of the legal and technical aspects of the mayfield case, i would rate nascar's PR handling of it all as a D-minus. And it's getting worse. what in the world this stepmother thing has to do with anything is beyond me. certainly nascar must have vetted that deal....
mayfield may be guilty, but nascar hasn't proven anything yet, except how inept it can be at times. (want to hear how 'great' the car-of-tomorrow is?)
let's get to the bottom of this, find the answers, and get on with things. however i'm afraid this thing is going to drag out in court a long, long time....at least the federal court system has some credibility....i think....

Something fishy

When did Mayfield stop taking Adderall? I heard him in an interview say he took it everyday yet this labcorp drug test "showed "none detected" in specimens performed for amphetamine and methamphetamine, by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry," well Adderall is not one but a combination of 4 amphetamines. If he was still taking it, as he said in a recent interview, why didn't that show up in his drug test?

excellent point....another

excellent point....another issue for that federal judge to check out...and i wish he'd get on the stick....it shouldn't take more than two months to get a drug test cleared up....what is interesting, very, very interesting is the labcorp report that shows Mayfield clean. Labcorp is a highly reputatable company, http://www.nyse.com/about/listed/lh.html
and my own personal physician uses labcorp for my annual physicals...so i personally know something about the company and how sharp it is. is nascar now going to charge labcorp with making up results?

What is really embarassing is

What is really embarassing is the sloppy, often biased way in which the media has handled this story. I have yet to see but 1 writer, David Newton, who has made any effort to compare NASCAR' drug testing program to that of any other major sport - and according to him the NFL also has the same lab test both the A and B samples. There is nothing embarassing about defending the sport's drug testing program and doing everything possible to keep what appears to be a drug user off the track. And as I recall the drug testing program was reviewed and then changed after it came out that Aaron Fike admitted to using heroin before racing. Having read it, I am convinced that NASCAR's drug testing program is far superior to the vast majority of the reporting about it. Richard in N.C.

if there were any newspapers

if there were any newspapers still covering this sport on a full-time, or even part-time basis, you might have an argument. however at the moment there is no american newspaper with a full-time nascar reporter covering the sport. where is the new york times, chicago tribune, miami herald, los angeles times, philadelphia inquirer? they've all but given up on nascar. the only journalists left covering the sport are web writers struggling to make a go of it, or people working for nascar's TV partners.
of course nascar is right to do everything it can to keep drug users off the track...but this whole mayfield story stinks like old garbage...i just hope that federal judge can get to the bottom of this....and maybe the U.S. Congress, which took such an interest in baseball and steriods, might want to bring a committee to bear on this deal. the fike situation was, uh, bizarre; nascar actually changed its testing program last fall after espn reported a story that ron hornaday had been using testosterone cream....


Whatever, NASCAR is the new WWE. Next comes the octagon with Mayfield and France and Humpy as the MC!

hey, at least the wwe is

hey, at least the wwe is scripted. these guys are winging it LOL

The reporting on this has

The reporting on this has been incredibly sloppy. Why has no one compared NASCAR's drug testing program to that of another major racing series, another major sport, or the DOT? You media guys had Brian France right there a couple of weeks ago, but apparently no one bothered to ask him how the NASCAR program was developed and what outside experts, if any, were involved. If the NASCAR program is so clearly flawed, where was the media outcry last fall when the program was announced? If Mayfield "never" believed Black or Aegis, why did he fire his crewman who flunked the test early this year? There appears to be a distinct double standard in the media. Sammy Sosa has been crucified in the media based on the alleged, admittedly stolen information on a drug test he allegedly failed about 6 years ago that was supposed to be secret - but Mayfield seems to be given the benefit of every doubt and NASCAR none. If Dr. Black and Aegis are so inept, why are they consultants to the MLB players union on drug testing, plus several universities? From everything I have seen reported, so far there are only 2 sets of drug tests that can be established to have been on Mayfield's urine - and he failed them both.

maybe it's time for the new

maybe it's time for the new york times, and the los angeles times and the chicago tribune to step in and start covering this story.....nascar has always been upfront about its belief that it can look at any drug test and give it a yea or nay, depending on circumstances.....i'd like to know how many drivers have tested positive for banned substances, and yet given the benefit of the doubt. the federal judge handling the case is now the one man who has to determine the truth. i hope he steps to the plate...i wonder how nascar might have handled the sammy sosa case...are steroids illegal in nascar? i'm not sure....what kind of medication did jeff gordon get for that back pain.....how much ibuprofen is considered 'over the line' by nascar?
i dont see where mayfield has been given the benefit of the doubt anywhere....he's been convicted in the media from the first day that nascar announced his suspension.

it is my general understanding that the U.S. constitution points to the presumption of innocence, and requires that charges be proved 'beyond a reasonable doubt.' i believe the constitution also points to the right to a fair and public trial, the right to an impartial jury, the right to present a defense...and a few other rights.....
i guess the federal judge handling this deal will be considering some of these issues.....
i just wish we all had something more to talk about....like racing....don't you?

Oh yes, now the NY Times

Oh yes, now the NY Times would be a fine one. As I recall the NY Times was where the article appeared about the alleged, admittedly stolen results of the drug test that Sammy Sosa allegedly failed. I believe their standard is innocent until we say you're guilty so we can attract readers. At least Mayfield will get his day in court - but the NY Times has already pronounced sentence on Sosa. I've seen several articles giving Mayfield the benefit of every doubt - and one accusing NASCAR of spite for responding to Mayfield's suit and countersuing.

Jeremy's Independent Test Not Credible

1) The LabCorp tests are meaningless unless the specimen was collected using the direct observe method. The internet is full of places to purchase synthetic urine (Google it). And there is also plenty of other ways to beat the test unless it is direct observe.

2) The LabCorp result says negative for amphetamines, yet he has repeatedly said he takes Adderall daily. If that's the case, the LabCorp test should have been positive for amphetamines (if it was really Jeremy's urine they were testing).

3) Only the last sample of July 6th tested by LabCorp was released (the one after the NASCAR test). They refuse to release the results for the one earlier in the day given when Jeremy was supposedly lost. Is that because his urine wasn't diluted enough yet?

4) Where are all of Jeremy's "B Samples" from his independent tests? Has he provided them to NASCAR? Are they available for further testing?

Barry in Tennessee

well, let's see what the

well, let's see what the judge says about all this. it's his deal now. maybe jeremy's tv crew has video of all this.

more: http://www.thatsracin.c



Just in from Brian France ...

Just wanted you to know your press credentials are safe for another year. You made the list along with all the other reporters that are trashing Mayfield. Any reporter found supporting Mayfield will have their press credentials revoked. Keep up the good bashing - uh I mean good work !!


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