Monday, May 18, 2009

Mayfield Appears At LMS, Says NASCAR Refuses To Provide Details

Despite being suspended indefinitely by NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy, Jeremy Mayfield showed up at Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star Race.

Mayfield told reporters, “I'm alive, well and healthy, (and) here to watch my car run,” and complained that he has not yet been told by NASCAR what specific substance led to his suspension. “They've indicated something different every day of the week,” he said, repeating earlier claims that a mixture of an unnamed prescription drug and two Claritin D pills caused his positive test result.

He strongly denied using illegal drugs of any kind, and complained of being “labeled. The damage is done. It's huge. My family, my friends, everybody that knows me knows better.”

NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston strongly refuted Mayfield’s claims, saying, "all NASCAR members who violate the policy, including Jeremy, are notified of the substance that caused the failure.“

He said Mayfield has been verbally informed of the substance in question by NASCAR's medical review officer on three different occasions in the past week. Poston also said Mayfield misunderstood the terms of his suspension, which should have banned him from the property at Lowes Motor Speedway. He said NASCAR officials have now spoken with Mayfield, and that he has agreed to comply.

Mayfield was defiant when asked about plans to complete a NASCAR-mandated rehabilitiation program as part of his effort to be reinstated.

"I'm not going to rehabilitation," he vowed. "Why would I? Would you go to rehab if you didn't have a problem?"

NASCAR CEO Brian France shed light on Mayfield's case late last week, calling it “a serious violation” of the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. He added that he considers performance-enhancing and recreational drugs to be serious violations.

France also attempted to reassure drivers that over-the-counter medication and the use of legitimately prescribed prescriptions will not lead to NASCAR sanctions. He said a number of drivers have already tested positive for those substances this season, and been cleared of any wrongdoing after conversations between NASCAR and their doctors.

He also defended NASCAR's refusal to name the substance that led to Mayfield's suspension, saying, “This is a privacy area, because we’re talking about somebody’s medical and health records. There is nothing to be gained by disclosing exactly what the substance (was) in Jeremy’s case. There’s no benefit to the competitors. There’s no benefit to anyone to jeopardize someone else’s privacy.”

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