You probably remember the saga of Jeremy Mayfield, his bizarre positive test for methamphetamines and the ensuing follies. As sublimely entertaining as it would be to put a tweaker behind the wheel of a car pushing 190 mph, it’s probably dangerous, and he was suspended despite repeated denials of drug use.
Perhaps a federal judge was swayed by Mayfield’s insistence that the positive test came from his Adderall prescription and other over-the-counter medication, or maybe he felt that an injunction was fair while the mess was sorted out, but either way, the courts temporarily lifted the suspension given to Mayfield as the lawsuits his team and NASCAR filed against each other were dealt with. Mayfield was free to race again, but was still subject to random drug testing by NASCAR. And that’s where the fun begins.
Mayfield was instructed by the sport to submit to one of these tests on Monday. What ensued was a clusterbomb of miscommunication that - once again - has both sides calling foul. SCENEDAILY.COM has the rundown:
NASCAR driver/owner Jeremy Mayfield […] submitted to a NASCAR drug test Monday but did not provide a sample to NASCAR’s technicians for seven hours.
The delay was a sign that Mayfield was trying to avoid the test, NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Wednesday night, but Mayfield attorney John Buric said it was just the result of confusion over where the laboratory was.
The whole story has the familiar stink of paranoia that we got acquainted with from Mayfield’s initial positive test, but even if his complaints have merit - no real way to know that just yet - someone really needs to get a Garmin* for that dude:
Mayfield was called at 1:18 p.m. Monday and told he had two hours to get to a NASCAR-specified laboratory to give a sample – two hours being the standard for NASCAR tests not conducted at the race track, Poston said. Mayfield claimed he couldn’t find the lab and then went to a laboratory not acceptable to Aegis Laboratories, which oversees NASCAR’s drug tests.
Buric said the original NASCAR phone call went to Mayfield’s voice mail and he then was told more than an hour after the initial call to go to a laboratory about an hour away. He was then told with less than 30 minutes prior to the 3:18 p.m. deadline to go to a closer lab but didn’t get good directions and was at a loss about what to do. Buric said neither he nor Mayfield could not get hold of the contact at the laboratory to get accurate directions.
If this all sounds like a colossal pain in the ass for everyone involved, well, that’s pretty much right. It would strongly behoove each side to get their collective act together.
While the proper course of action for Mayfield is to happily agree to any and all drug testing that NASCAR asks for (and, of course, to not test positive for anything), NASCAR and Aegis have got to be able to direct their drivers to the proper lab with ease. This is just plain professionalism, people, and it goes a long way.
Mayfield ended up providing a sample to NASCAR security over seven hours later… at his home. Yes, that’s more than a little shady in and of itself, but security directly observed Mayfield provide the sample. By that, yes, we mean they watched him urinate:
Buric said the delay at Mayfield’s home was caused by NASCAR telling the technicians that they had to directly observe Mayfield providing the urine sample with his pants down and shirt up to make sure the sample was his. When NASCAR tests at the track, drivers are allowed to use a bathroom stall.
Give Buric credit: he’s sticking up for his client in aggressive, fervent fashion. It’s what a good advocate does. Eventually, though, the “confusion” has to clear up very soon and some clean tests have to start coming through the system. No offense, but we really don’t want to keep writing stories about guys watching Jeremy Mayfield take a leak. That’s a long way away from sports, man.
*This has been an unpaid endorsement of the Garmin product, though if they want to shoot us a little something for our trouble, it’d only be fair. And on that note, Courvoisier Absolut Ferrari Lexus U.S. Mint. There, we’re done.