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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A.J. Allmendinger's very bad decision-making included taking random pill, not telling whole truth right away

There are a few things I can say right now about A.J. Allmendinger with certainty.

1. He has the worst luck in the world, as he happened to get drug tested just a couple days after he claims he unknowingly took a pill given to him by a friend.

2. He made the worst choice he could have possibly made when he decided to take an unknown pill (a workout supplement to give him energy, as his friend described it) to keep himself awake a few days before the race in Kentucky

3. His decision to not admit to this right away makes him look very bad right now, and far less sympathetic than if some random supplement from GNC had triggered his failed test. Adderall is an often-abused drug, so that makes him look very bad, and people have to decide to believe him when he says it was a one-time thing.

Let's break this down.

For those who don't know, Allmendinger is finally speaking out about the events that led up his suspension from NASCAR and enrollment in the Road to Recovery program.

He said he does not abuse Adderall, rather that he took it just this one time, and did not do so knowingly. He said he hopes to complete by the end of August; and that the road to recovery is being treated as a stress-coping approach; not a drug rehabilitation.

I believe A.J. is not a drug addict. I believe he does not abuse Adderall or other drugs. The fact that he has been tested more than dozen times in his racing career and hasn't failed before is evidence of this. I do believe that this is a one-time thing, and the result of a bad decision.

I also believe that it is one of the worst decisions anyone could possibly make in their life. Seriously, who just takes a random pill without knowing what it is -- especially when you know you could be drug tested at any time? That's just a terrible decision to make.

And it might have ruined his career.

One pill, and it might all be flushed down the toilet.

I know his season has been stressful, but that's not reason to just start acting stupid. If you're having trouble staying awake, go to sleep, don't just pop random pills. That's a level of bad decision-making rarely seen.

And the luck of it all is just astounding. What are the odds, of all the times that he could have been randomly tested, that it would have been just days after this one-time incident. It's like some bad mojo was out to get him. Still, that doesn't excuse anything; it's just the craziest timing I've ever seen.

The biggest thing I get out of all this, though, is that all the cat and mouse from A.J. and his business manager about how they were scouring medicine cabinets to find the source of this failed drug test was a bunch of hogwash.
He knew what caused it, right from the start, I am sure of this.

Yet he pleaded innocent publicly and insisted he would never take anything he shouldn't. That's not an honest way to go about things, and is very disappointing. I can understand his embarrassment, and he insists he didn't realize at first what caused it, but I'm not buying that.

If he knows now what caused the failed test, he knew when it was announced, and it's a shame he couldn't have been more up front about things. If he had been, he might have been sympathetic in the wake of all this. Now, he just looks like someone who was trying to hide the truth.

So with all this being revealed, A.J.'s road to returning to a decent NASCAR ride just got even harder, and it was a pretty slim chance already. Pretty much no team is going to have trust in him after this latest reveal. Not telling the full truth right away just makes him look very bad.

The chances are his career in a top NASCAR ride are permanently done.

All because of one pill.

The whole thing is just a shame, really.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I do agree with you...pretty dumb for a man in his position. I'm not as sure about the lying...or the fact he just didn't blurt it out to the press. If, as he states, it was a stupid decision to take a random pill...he may not have connected the dots immediately. Then, when it was clear where the drug came from...why do you deem it necessary he tells the public at all? Whatever the circumstances of his suspension it is really only the business of NASCAR ... anyone else he chose to tell was his choice. At this point, having reveled his side of the story, AJ has opened himself up to more questions and speculation. I almost think it would have been better for him to just complete his rehab in silence and answer questions upon his return to the publics eye. We, as humans, demand instant gratification..and sometimes it's just none of our damn business.

August 8, 2012 at 4:41 AM 

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