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Woody: Dog Pile On Mayfield!

Larry Woody | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, June 20 2009
Jeremy Mayfield, did he or did he not?  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Jeremy Mayfield, did he or did he not? (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

By Larry Woody | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

As the most intriguing mystery in modern NASCAR history drags on – did suspended driver Jeremy Mayfield use a banned substance or did he not? – the piling-on has begun.

More and more bloggers and other ozone-dwellers are suggesting that the evidence against Mayfield is mounting and it is folly for him to buck NASCAR with its deep pockets and pro-bowl team of attorneys.

They wonder why he doesn’t simply take his medicine – no pun intended – like a good little boy?

Why not enter a treatment center as NASCAR ordered, serve his time, get his return ticket stamped?

Wouldn’t that be the simple, practical, economical thing to do?

Yes, it would.

Except for one little thing:

What if he’s innocent?

What if the drug test was somehow botched?

Would you plead guilty if you were innocent just to take the easy way out?

Besides, let’s not kid ourselves: Even if Mayfield agreed to jump through the hoops, go through treatment and do all else that’s been ordered, it would still be impossible for him to rehabilitate his racing career.

Once he came out of treatment he would carry the taint of a druggie. Every time he walked through the garage, eyes would be averted. Old friends would be cool. And can you imagine trying to land corporate sponsorships with that stain on his record?

If he’s guilty, he’s finished.

If he’s innocent, he may still be finished.

I have no idea who’s telling the truth. As I’ve said from the start, it’s hard to believe that Mayfield would play Russian Roulette with his career, knowing he could be drug-tested at any moment; it’s equally hard to believe that NASCAR’s lab technicians could carelessly misdiagnose his drug test.

I’ll say this: If he is guilty, Mayfield is the most brazen bluffer this side of Amarillo Slim.

If he indeed had some banned substance in his system, he knows that NASCAR knows. So why on earth is he persisting with his lawsuit?

Why would Mayfield continue to raise the ante, betting on a lost hand? Surely he knows NASCAR will never fold.

That’s what makes it so intriguing. If he’s guilty, why does he continue to dig a deeper hole for himself? Instead of simply being suspended from racing, he’s liable to end up in prison.

And if he’s not guilty and can prove it – if somebody somewhere fouled up, made an inadvertent error, and destroyed Mayfield’s career and reputation – will the sport ever recover?

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

Larry Woody | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, June 20 2009
12 Comments

12 Comments »

  • CSGAS says:

    I keep having two questions echo in my head.

    The first comes from Helton’s remark that “this is not about amphetamines,” So if it isn’t about a drug, Mike and NASCAR, then what is it about?

    Also I have to wonder why NASCAR’s story about the results had to change so many times before it even sounded plausible…if they were right, it would have been the first accusation that was right.

    It was difficult to grant NASCAR much credibility before this, among accusations about cautions and rigging events in races. It will be impossible to grant NASCAR any credibility after this faux-doping scandal.

    The F1 is on the verge of falling apart, and it belongs to the parent organization that Big Bill France set NASCAR up as a member of. The saying used to be that “NASCAR will survive without” one racer or another. Brian hasn’t used that saying much but maybe if he had, he’d understand racing will survive without NASCAR.

  • Brett says:

    Why is he continuing with this? … drugs do bad things to your brain. He’s not thinking correctly.

    On the other hand… could NASCAR just want to railroad him out of the sport?? … I don’t see why, he wasn’t even a contender.

  • YowserYowser says:

    I’m just concerned about the legal implication of how an employer conducts a drug test. The way Nascar did this was to allow Black & Co. to use one sample and just repeat the test on the same sample. This is a cheap way to do this but employers do this everyday (I’ve done three drug tests this way and one where the employer just pulled out an off-the-shelf drug testing kit from Rite Aid and had me walk into a closet). There is no federal guidelines other than the employer can perform a drug test on a potential employee.

    I really wish Mayfield could have gone to the Supreme Court.

    • Doobie says:

      He probably doesn’t…unless he’s insane!

      I’m sure NASCAR would just love arguing its case in front of the conservative, business-friendly Supreme Court majority. Mayfield wouldn’t stand a chance.

  • Marybeth says:

    Larry,
    I have read that if they would to a test on a hair sample from Mayfield, and he offered to do this, they would know if he did drugs or not, back to 6 months…unless getting to the truth of this doesn’t matter, for whatever reason…? Marybeth

  • Larry B says:

    I think the best way to understand why Mayfield might take the chance he appears to be taking with his lawsuit can be summed up in two words: Mauricia Grant. I feel sure Mayfield and his lawyer truly believed NASCAR would fold on this lawsuit before it got to court just like they did with Grant’s. But these are two very different circumstances. And if that is what Mayfield was thinking, I fear he will discover he made a grave mistake, the biggest mistake of his life. I also believe NASCAR has NO intention of settling out of court on this one. Jeremy, you’d better have all of your ducks in a row or you’re going to end up with a bunch of dead ducks!

  • Richard in N.C. says:

    I have read most of NASCAR’s drug policy and it does not appear flawed to me, but I am not an expert. However, I do suspect it stacks up pretty well with that of other major racing series and sports since I have seen just 1 article comparing NASCAR’s policy to that of another major sport and that article showed how its testing regimen was like that of the NFL.

    If the results of Aegis’ tests of Mayfield are accurate and if the reports of the 3rd substance found in the tests are correct, then it would seem that Mayfield might have criminal problems for taking an illegal drug, meth. If Mayfield had at least first tried to pursue the matter under NASCAR’s policy, the fact that he had taken an illegal drug (if he did) might never have become public.

    I wonder whether Mayfield and his attorney in effect were running a bluff and expected NASCAR to try to quietly settle the issue rather than fight.

  • Jim Andrea says:

    Perhaps everyone should take a deep breath and then stop speculating about the whole subject. Decide when all the facts are presented. Rumor, innuendo and leaks are not facts, so lets see how this whole sorry mess plays out before we judge anyone. A note to Lou: The lack of solidarity among drivers or owners or even media for that matter occurs because NASCAR controls the entire deal. If you want to make a living by being involved in NASCAR, you do not bite the hand that feeds you. Up to now, most everyone has made a very good living by nodding their heads in agreement when NASCAR speaks.

  • Lou says:

    I do not find it hard to believe Nascar is wrong. I also do not find it hard to believe Mayfield is wrong. However I do find it hard to believe so many are so quick to pronounce a verdict. Hang him first and then the trial.

    This is not a criminal matter. Any suggestion of prison is complete foolishness.

    I am rooting for Mayfield on the issues. Nascar’s drug policy is very flawed and should not be enforced until they at least meet federal standards.

    I am always surprised by the lack of solidarity among the drivers to fight Nascar and their little kingdom.

    • LARRY WOODY says:

      Lou, if Jeremy commits perjury during any of the legal proceeding, that’s a criminal offense. The prisons are full of people who, like you, apparently didn’t realize that.
      Larry Woody

    • Patti says:

      Why should a private organization have to meet Federal Guidelines?

      Here’s the issue here. If the court decides that, guess what kind of can of worms that opens up for every private organization that drug tests it’s employees. Now joe schmoe can sue if he thinks he was terminated wrongfully because the drug testing program doesn’t meet the standard of the program administered to Federal Agencies. Wow. Do we want that kind of precedent set? I don’t think so. While it might be nice, it’s not relevant in the end. As long as Nascar is operating it’s program within the laws set forth by every state then they are in compliance. Unless of course you would argue that Nascar is a Federally run agency….

      Then, this is a civil proceeding. There is no presumption of innocence. That doesn’t apply. Jeremy has to prove everything he alleges and the biggest problem he has right now is that his “expert” turns out to not be so much of an expert. Now I don’t think for a minute that was Jeremy’s mistake, I think his lawyers screwed him royally.

      Honestly, I think they thought Nascar would make this go away and he’d make a quick buck to settle his other debts and just slowly fade in to obscurity. That didn’t happen.

      • Doobie says:

        Are you saying that if Mayfield, who has admitted to taking a mixture of Adderall (a prescription amphetamine) for his ADHD, and Claritin, gets a false positive for methamphetamine…that you’re OK with that…that we should just take NASCAR’s word for it, and not somehow ensure that their testing procedures are reliable?

        Do we want that kind of precedent set?

        How is ensuring the reliability of a drug test “not relevant” when it could destroy someone’s career and/or reputation?

        Should Mayfield have no legal recourse?

        Also, unlike a criminal proceeding, in a civil proceeding the burden of proof is much lower–just more than a 50 percent probability of a defendant’s (i.e., NASCAR’s) negligence. That’s all Mayfield, the plaintiff, has to do.

        Where are you getting your information?