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Saturday, June 6, 2009

NASCAR is officially at war with Mayfield

You mess with the bull, you get the horns.

That's the message that NASCAR is sending to Jeremy Mayfield, as it has countersued him for a variety of allegations, including violation of the substance abuse policy, breach of contract and defrauding competitors of earnings. (The last one makes me chuckle ... considering how Mayfield has run this year, I don't think he defrauded anyone of anything.)

Anyhow, the jist of this countersuit, which is motivated by nothing but spite, is that they are saying Mayfield knowingly violated the substance abuse policy by racing while under the influence of drugs he knew violated that policy (a policy that all the other drivers recently admitted they weren't too sure about up until the recent powwow with NASCAR's bigwigs.)

Reading between the lines, it's becoming apparent that Mayfield is probably telling the truth about the cause of his failed test ... his use of the prescription drug Adderrall, which is a stimulant used to treat attention deficit disorder.

NASCAR is taking issue with the fact he did not inform them that he was using the drug, something they state in their countersuit is a violation of NASCAR policy.

OK. I'll give them that. Mayfield failed to inform them of a prescription he was using. So if that's the case and they know he failed due to this prescription drug, why the hell would they suspend him and expect him to undergo a drug rehabilitation program? If that's the case, he has no drug problem to cure. If I'm reading the situation correctly, there is no reason to even suspend him in the first place.

The countersuit reaches an even bigger point of silliness when it mentions that Mayfield has crashed in a few of the races he ran this year, and they accuse him of crashing because he was on this drug (which is not named, but is likely the Adderrall Mayfield has said he is prescribed).

Talk about a reach!! How do they know he didn't crash because his car was a piece of junk? And on top of that, Adderrall helps people with ADD concentrate, not lose focus.

What this all comes down to is NASCAR doesn't like it when you try to call them out on their often-ridiculous rules. He may not be leading laps, but Mayfield just wants to race, and that's why he's suing. He insists he did nothing but take prescribed medication, and is trying to clear his name so he can get back to his job.

This countersuit is petty and shows the dictatorial nature of NASCAR. They are not happy when anyone challenges their rules, and are officially at war with Mayfield now.

If it comes out that Mayfield was on some dangerous illegal drug and putting his competitors' lives at risk, I'll condemn him with everyone else. But if things continue as they are, and it comes out that Mayfield was suspended just because he failed to report a prescription drug he was taking, NASCAR is going to come out of this looking pretty silly.


Anonymous midasmicah said...

Proverbial bully indeed. Nas$car has proved time and again how they'll run roughshod over anybody within their circle that questions them. I hope Mayfield fights them to the very end. Even if he does win, he'll lose. Nas$car will make life for him so miserable that he won't want to stay. Just watch how a driver voices an opinion on some issue that disagrees with nas$car's stand changes his stand within a short period of time.

June 6, 2009 at 7:52 AM 
Anonymous Richard in N.C. said...

You might want to go read the court filings. Mayfield allegedly did not comply with the policy and then sued not just for reinstatement, but also for damages - without any effort to first determine what would have been required to obtain reinstatement under NASCAR's program. NASCAR's countersuit is standard defense when someone sues you. NASCAR might be PO'd - and have a right to be if they are correct - but they do have a right to defend themselves.

June 6, 2009 at 1:11 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not a lawyer, but there is this little thing called the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and a whole host of other federal laws that cover those with disabilities. So, if Jeremy Mayfield can show that his drugs were prescribed for a diagnosed medical condition NASCAR may end up with a lot more than they bargained for. Hopefully if it all works out Mayfield may end with more money than the lady that suited them for sexual/race discrimination. Now wouldn't that be poetic justice!

June 6, 2009 at 2:24 PM 
Blogger Matt Myftiu said...

Re: Anonymous

This thought has been in the back of my mind, too.

If Mayfield can prove he has ADD, and has a prescription for a drug to treat ADD, and that the drug in question does not affect his ability to race ... he could potentially have an ADA-based lawsuit against NASCAR if they try to prevent him from racing under the influence of that drug. This could provide yet another possible twist in this in this soap oera.

June 6, 2009 at 3:25 PM 
Anonymous Richard in N.C. said...

I am not an attorney, but I am confident that the ADA does not override all controls and allow someone to misuse a controlled substance and, as a result, take action - such as driving - that endangers the lives of others. Even in California I would imagine someone can be arrested for DUI if they are using an excessive amount of medicinal marijuana while driving at 70 miles an hour on a public road - or at least I would hope so.

June 6, 2009 at 4:32 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Military gives this stuff to its fighter pilotes to stay alert. I dont think that it would cause a car crash!! LOL

June 6, 2009 at 8:34 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NASCAR needs to back off, now. This is Jeremy Mayfield we are talking about, people. He's 40 years old and has raced in NASCAR's top series for more than a decade. He's not some young punk putting other drivers or the sport at risk with risky behavior. While his best years are probably behind him, there is NO WAY in my mind that a driver of Mayfield's caliber and character [demonstrated over many years] would ever put other competitors or himself at risk, NO WAY. Back off, NASCAR. Let Jeremy come back.

June 6, 2009 at 9:26 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard in N.C.
No one is saying that NASCAR cannot test and sanction for the illegal use of drugs. However, the legal use of prescribed medications for a diagnosed disability(for example ADD/ADHD) is another issue. With your line of reasoning it would be safer for someone to not take a prescribed medication and perhaps have a impairment in concentration. Yes, using your example if someone was driving above the speed limit in a reckless manner because of his prescribed medication he would be subject to all applicable laws regardless of disability. If Jeremy Mayfield has been using a prescribed medication for many years I think it would hard for NASCAR to argue that he was a danger to others or unqualified to be professional race car driver. After all the man has won five races and qualified for the Chase twice.
The following was found on a internet website specializing in ADA law.
"Are individuals who are properly prescribed medications required to inform the prospective employer prior to the drug test and/or hiring of their medication? Under the ADA, an applicant who is taking properly prescribed medication is not required to disclose this information to his/her prospective employer. In addition, an employer is not permitted to ask questions concerning any medications that an applicant is taking or has taken in the past. If a person tests positive for illegal drug use, an employer must offer the employee or applicant an opportunity to explain a positive result, such as lawful use of a controlled substance or other treatment that might cause a false positive test result. On the other hand, if an applicant voluntarily discloses this information at the time of the drug test, it may avoid any misunderstandings concerning positive results from a drug-screening test between the employee and his/her employer." Maybe NASCAR could have asked a few more questions. Just saying...
Don't be so sure of yourself. I am sure the real lawyers will have many more twist and turns then either you or I since we are not attorneys!

June 6, 2009 at 11:51 PM 
Anonymous Richard in N.C. said...

I am only sure of 2 things - the whole situation could have been reported in a much better fashion by the media and the only sure winners are the lawyers for both sides.

June 8, 2009 at 7:46 PM 

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