Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Mayfield's Meth Mess

I generally don't pay that much attention to NASCAR, aside from conversations with my secretary, who's a big fan. The whole spec car running 'round in circles thing just doesn't do it for me (same reason I take a pass on IRL oval races, too, for the most part). But it looks like I'm missing out on some real entertainment, at least off the track.

I knew that driver Jeremy Mayfield had failed a drug test and that he tested positive for methamphetamine. But I had no idea just how nasty it got after that:

Known in Nascar circles more for his outspokenness than racing success, Mayfield, 40, sued the organization in May after he was suspended for failing a drug test. Nascar, which by practice does not disclose the exact drug detected, countersued. Mayfield sought a temporary injunction to restore his driving privileges, his lawyers arguing in court that he never used recreational drugs.

On July 1, a judge determined that the chance of a false positive was 'quite substantial' and ruled in Mayfield’s favor, lifting the suspension. That day, Nascar confirmed published reports that Mayfield had tested positive for methamphetamine.

The case became messier last week when Nascar said that Mayfield, who had offered to be retested, had failed a second test for meth. Among the new result and other papers filed by Nascar to persuade the court to lift the injunction was testimony from Mayfield’s stepmother that she had observed him ingesting the drug some 30 times over seven years.
Mayfield's crew has an explanation for the positive tests, but waiving away step mom's allegations rests on their apparently long standing animosity (Mayfield has accused her of killing his father) and will be a little tougher. But, experts point to problems with NASCAR's methods, so maybe there's less here than meets the eye.

Regardless, I'm going to keep a look out for the next (left) turn in this saga.

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