Published on June 30th, 2009 | by Michael J Smith2
Independent Lab Confirms Mayfield Test Result
According to court documents, an independent laboratory tested Jeremy Mayfield’s sample and the results support the original test’s finding, which resulted in Mayfield’s indefinite suspension from competition. The test results and the names were blocked out but a NASCAR spokesperson confirmed they were identical.
The documents are part of NASCAR’s defense against Mayfield’s lawsuit to be reinstated. According to the documents, Medtox Laboratories tested both of Mayfield’s samples and confirmed the presence of an unnamed substance. That substance is said to be methamphetamine.
Attorneys for Mayfield claim that NASCAR’s policy is unlawful. They argue that the policy does not meet federal guidelines. They also contend that Mayfield never gave consent to have his second sample tested, and that the second sample should have been tested at an independent lab.
Furthermore, they said that the second sample was compromised so Mayfield could not send it to a second lab. For these reasons, they claim, the test should be invalid.
Aegis Laboratories, the company NASCAR employs to run its testing programs, tested both Mayfield samples.
For its part, NASCAR says that it is not required to follow federal guidelines. NASCAR also noted that NFL and Olympic drug testing programs allow the same lab to test both samples.
The evidence will be considered at a hearing on Thursday, as Mayfield is seeking a temporary restraining order to allow him back into the car as early as next weekend’s race at Daytona.
If the order is granted, Mayfield’s attorney, Bill Diehl, will seek damages Mayfield suffered from being out of the car since the suspension was enacted. But, if the order is denied, Diehl will go to court to argue that NASCAR’s testing policy is unfair, which could take more than a year.
Mayfield failed a drug test in May and was suspended indefinitely. Mayfield claimed that the test was the result of a reaction from taking a double dose of Claritin and Adderall RX right before his test. Dr. David Black, of Aegis, denied that claim.
Shortly thereafter, Mayfield filed a suit to get reinstated. NASCAR then filed a countersuit accusing him of willfully violating NASCAR’s drug policy.
To date, Mayfield still stands by his claim and denies using methamphetamine. It’s hard to tell who is telling the truth, but if you look strictly at the facts of the case, you would think Mayfield has more incentive to lie.
For example, what does NASCAR gain from having Mayfield suspended? Nothing. What does Mayfield gain from taking methamphetamine? Improved concentration and focus, which could help him perform better on track. And better performance is better financially.
I’m not saying I know, or believe for sure, that Mayfield is lying. But, if you consider NASCAR’s policy, and the uncertainty surrounding it, I would think that most drivers would be very cautious about taking anything, and they would check with NASCAR before taking anything.
Looking back at the timeline of events, Mayfield did not disclose the Adderall right away. He didn’t reveal it until after he was tested, which looks very suspect. But, if he isn’t telling the truth, he sure is putting himself in the spotlight, and incurring major legal expenses for no reason. Why would he do that if he knows he is lying?
It’s hard to know whether this finding is a setback for Mayfield’s case because Mayfield is not disputing whether or not he tested positive (though he still denies using methamphetamine). He’s disputing the fairness of the testing policy. He is also seeking to have the results of the test thrown out because the samples were compromised. The fact that he tested positive has little bearing on his defense.
NASCAR, however, wants to show that he violated the policy and was punished for it.
This should be an interesting court case.