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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

NASCAR shouldn't be secretive about Mayfield's drug test

There have been calls from many people in the past few days for NASCAR to tell the public what drug causes Jeremy Mayfield to fail his drug test, but as usual NASCAR is being secretive.

If you’re going to suspend a driver, the least you can do is tell everyone why you’re doing it. That will silence the critics who would accuse NASCAR of making up the accusation. After all, these critics do have a reason to be suspicious, based on how NASCAR treated Tim Richmond two decades ago (Long story short: NASCAR claimed Richmond, who had AIDS, had failed a drug test, when all he had taken was an over-the-counter cold medication. He never raced again.)

Most of all, the competitors in the garage need to know what Mayfield was using, because they have to compete against him at speeds of over 200 mph.

On a side note, the first place I saw that Mayfield had failed his drug test was on the Front Page of CNN. Chances are that’s the only NASCAR headline that will make it on CNN’s front all year. The point is that there is massive interest in this story, far beyond NASCAR fans, and people need to know what is going on in the wake so many drug scandals in baseball and other sports. People who don't even watch NASCAR are asking me: Why does a NASCAR driver need to take drugs? What drug was he on?

NASCAR has nothing to gain by keeping it a secret. All that does is lead to endless speculation and accusations that are most likely inaccurate. For the record, Mayfield claims he took Claritin D, an over-the-counter allergy drug that contains pseudoephedrine, a substance banned by most sports.

Not only won’t NASCAR say what Mayfield used, they won’t even say what substances are banned. That is just plain stupid.

Spill the beans and get it overwith. Otherwise, you’ll just look silly – and the whole sports world is watching.


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