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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

AJ Allmendinger has screwed up his entire career, now that failed drug test is confirmed

As expected, A.J. Allmendinger's B sample has failed, just like his A sample.

So what does that mean? Well, technically it means he is indefinitely suspended from the sport per NASCAR rules, and must follow a program to get back into the sport that will include all sorts of counseling, testing, etc.

Practically, it means he just screwed his entire career up. And you can bet that Roger Penske won't waste any time dumping A.J. from his roster. There are plenty of people lined up that want that ride -- and the Captain has some good options, including Joey Logano if Gibbs can't hold on to him (something that's looking more likely every day).

It's a shame really. Either A.J. did do something illegal knowingly, or he delved into the all-too dangerous world of supplements, which can cause positives all the time. He should've known better if this is what happened -- just like his teammate (or should I say soon-to-be-former teammate) Brad Keselowski said last week. Stay away from all that crap; it can only lead to trouble.

Whatever happened, and only AJ knows that, his career, which while not on fire was at least going along pretty well, is pretty much shot at this point. After he completes NASCAR's program, who will want him? He is damaged goods. He might go to a mid-level team, at best, but for the most part he is now screwed -- and it's really his own fault.

I feel bad, because I think AJ is a good guy, but he just threw away the opportunity of a lifetime.

Here are some statements on the matter from the players involved:
Official announcement:
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #22 Dodge in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been suspended indefinitely from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy. On July 24, Allmendinger was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (NASCAR's substance abuse policy) of the 2012 NASCAR rule book. As outlined in the rule book, NASCAR next will provide Allmendinger a letter outlining a process for reinstatement. By agreeing to the letter, he will be allowed to participate in the Road to Recovery Program.(NASCAR)

Penske Racing Statement:
"In accordance with NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy, Penske Racing was notified today of AJ Allmendinger's positive B sample test. We respect NASCAR's policy and the process they have taken with this matter. Penske Racing is very disappointed with the result of the B sample test and will evaluate its course of action as it pertains to AJ over the coming week. Sam Hornish Jr., will drive the #22 Dodge Charger this weekend at Indianapolis and next weekend at Pocono."

Walldinger Racing Statement: Aegis Analytical Laboratories in Nashville has delivered the results of the "B" sample test for Penske Racing driver AJ Allmendinger, which confirmed the results of the "A" test. Statement from Tara Ragan, Vice President, Walldinger Racing Inc. "This was not the news we wanted to hear and we will work to get to the source of what may have caused this. To that end, we have secured the services of an independent lab to conduct thorough testing on every product within AJ's home and motor coach to find what might collaborate with his test, which created results that were within nanograms of accepted standards. We are working closely with NASCAR and Penske Racing to identify the next action steps in this process. We continue to be extremely grateful by the breadth and scope of support for AJ from his fans and partners. We would like to again thank NASCAR, Penske Racing and all our sponsor partners for the open communication, and for helping us at every step in this process. We expect to have further updates in the upcoming days."

Shell / Pennzoil Statement: "Shell and Pennzoil believe that the process and procedures that NASCAR has in place as part of their substance abuse policy are appropriate and serve to ensure that the sport and its participants are held to the highest standards. We share Penske Racing's disappointment with the result of AJ's (Allmendinger) B sample test and will work closely with them to determine plans moving forward. We hope for the best for AJ during this difficult time."

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is why even thinking NASCAR is a real sport is a joke. To ruin someones career over what could be just taking an energy drink. They should have sat down like a real sport. Figure out what he took before flying off the handle. If it is a supplement or energy drink make it known to all competitors so it doesn't happen again.

And NASCAR wonder why people don't go to events anymore.

July 25, 2012 at 10:50 AM 
Blogger Matt Myftiu said...

To Anonymous: But here's the thing -- how do you know it is a supplement or energy drink? If it's not, and it was illegal drugs, he's a danger to his competitors.
So NASCAR has a fine line to walk. I'm not above criticizing them, and often do, but I don't see what else they can do in this situation. They took appropriate action. No one else failed the test in recent years but AJ did. If it was so easy to get a false positive, lots of drivers would have failed in this way before him.

July 25, 2012 at 11:48 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Besides the fact I have no discernible athletic talents..this is one reason I would not want to be a sports star! The money is fantastic...but the scrutiny one must be under...the conjecture, the ridicule, the condemnation would be more than I could handle. I don't know what the substance AJ showed positive for is, I don't know if he's an addict, an on and off "party" guy, a one try and done guy, or if the substance was in an innocent supplement. We may or we may not ever know. But it doesn't seem to stop the mass speculation and tearing down of a guy most liked pre A and B test. All of the sudden he's a druggie and a terrible driver. Now I get it...so far he's not shown himself to have the talent of Stewart, Gordon, or Johnson...heck maybe not even the talent of "he finally won a race after a 4 year drought" Earnhardt...but he is part of the NASCAR family..the human race..and as that..he should garner at least a tad more respect then one would give say a bird who was blindsided because he flew into the path of an oncoming mass of 200 mph cars at Daytona. Just saying....

July 25, 2012 at 2:32 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah NASCAR is real tough about their testing program which I think goes way too far.
That being said, wait until Dale Jr, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, you see where I'm going with this don't you. When one of their favored sons, test positive, I'll bet NASCAR will take a completely different view of "stimulant" or nanogram. Just wait and see it will happen sooner or later and it won't be the driver's fault. He will just be the victim.

July 25, 2012 at 2:34 PM 
Blogger kparadise3 said...

I was really hoping it was a mistake. I hope he can get his life back to normal.

July 26, 2012 at 1:46 AM 
Blogger LJC said...

To all those anonymous posters who criticize NASCAR's policy: NASCAR drivers are not throwing a ball for a living. They are driving 900hp, 3400lb vehicles at speeds that often exceed 200mph mere inches from other vehicles. They SHOULD have the most stringent testing policy in sports. The other drivers and their families deserve that. I sincerely doubt the substance abuse policy has anything to do with attendance at race tracks.

And I can assure you, had AJ been an employee of Pennzoil and busted that drug test, they would not care what caused the positive, only that it was positive. It's not NASCAR's problem - at this point - why the test was positive. If AJ's able to prove it was a supplement, then that's a cautionary tale to anyone who takes them while subject to drug screens.

July 28, 2012 at 10:52 AM 

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