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Woody: Did-Too, Did-Not Game Getting Tedious

Larry Woody | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, May 21 2009
Jeremy Mayfield says no I didn't. NASCAR says yes you did. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Jeremy Mayfield says no I didn't. NASCAR says yes you did. (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR)

By Larry Woody | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

After weeks of accusations, denials, rumors, official statements and more denials, all we know for sure – for absolute, positive certainty – about the NASCAR/Jeremy Mayfield drug-testing donnybrook is this:

Somebody’s fibbing.

Mayfield, who has been suspended indefinitely by NASCAR after testing positive for a “banned substance” said he has not been told what that substance was.

Dr. David Black, who runs the testing program, said he personally told Mayfield what the banned substance found in his positive test was.

“I spoke with him about his positive test result on the day he was suspended, and I spoke to him directly about the test result,” Black told The Associated Press on Monday. “Yes, by name of what he tested positive for.”

But last Saturday Mayfield insisted he was never told what specific drug caused the positive test and resulted in his suspension.

Mayfield claimed he took an over-the-counter allergy medication, Clartin-D, and that led to the positive result.

Black said that’s not true. He said he told Mayfield the positive test was not related to an over-the-counter drug.

This is absurd. It’s time for both sides to shut up and put up.

If Mayfield is telling the truth he should demand that the results of his drug test be made public or else he’s going to sue the pants off somebody. He’s been branded a druggie and his career and reputation are in tatters.

If NASCAR and its lab technician are telling the truth they should be equally anxious to get the facts before the public. They stand accused of filing a false, malicious report.

If nobody has anything to hide, then why is everybody hiding it?

I said from the outset that I find it hard to believe that Mayfield, whom I’ve know for half his life, could be involved with drugs.

He, like all NASCAR participants, understands that he can be drug-tested at any time. Would he dare play Russian Roulette with the racing career to which he has devoted his life? That’s hard for me to believe.

On the other hand, it’s hard to believe that NASCAR would wage some weird vendetta against Mayfield, that it would go to such extremes to sabotage his career and his life for no reason.

So what we have are two seemingly-impossible scenarios. I can’t bring myself to believe either one.

Yet it’s obvious that somebody – Jeremy, the lab technician, somebody – is not being honest. The story has passed the point of where someone might have misunderstood something or where there could be a muddled interpretation of the facts.

One positively said he did.

The other positively said he didn’t.

There’s nothing vague and hazy about it any more.

It would seem that NASCAR has the ability to clear the whole thing up by simply releasing the lab results and explaining – in precise laymen’s terms – how they were compiled; in other words, make it clear that no mistake could have been made.

If I were Mayfield and I were truly innocent, I’d not only permit the release of the test results, I’d be on my way to Daytona with a plane-load of lawyers to insist on it.

Likewise, if I were a NASCAR driver, I too would demand to see the results; I’d want to know exactly what I’m allowed to ingest/inhale/imbibe/inject. What do they test for, and is the test infallible?

If Mayfield is telling the truth, any driver’s career can be turned into cinders at any moment.

There’s a rotten smell in the air. The only question is, where’s it coming from? 

– Larry Woody can be reached at lwoody@racintoday.com


Larry Woody | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, May 21 2009
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