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NASCAR: Why Don't Drivers Have a Banned-Substance List?

FONTANA, CA - FEBRUARY 20:  Jeremy Mayfield, driver of the #41 All Sport Toyota, waits by his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway on February 20, 2009 in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jen PrestonSenior Analyst INovember 17, 2016

If he didn't use alcohol, and he didn't use steroids, and NASCAR is dismissing his claim that his failed drug test was caused by a mixture of prescription and over-the-counter allergy medications...what the hell did Jeremy Mayfield take?

Or, more importantly: Why doesn't NASCAR give drivers a list of banned substances, so situations like this can be avoided all together?

While I don't condone that fact that Mayfield did do something to fail his NASCAR mandated drug test, it just seems harsh to me to blame someone for failing a test when they don't even know what they can and can't take.

Driver of the No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet, Ryan Newman, told ESPN that he plans on talking to NASCAR about the issue and that "the whole system would be fixed if they just told us what Jeremy did."

Fellow competitor Brian Vickers feels the same way.

"To be honest with you, I'm a little scared," Vickers said. "I'm afraid to take Nyquil. If I get a cold I don't know what to take. To me this is extremely gray, extremely vague."

NASCAR, though, does say that they gave teams a "basic list" of what drivers, pit crew members, etc. aren't allowed to take, and have an "open line" for questions with it's doctor and administrator of the test, Dr. David Black.

Newman says he knew nothing about this line.

"It would be nice if there are a set of rules, guidelines that we live by," driver Kurt Busch said. "It's hard to know what the rules are if they don't give you a set of guidelines."

NASCAR president Brian France is expected to speak on the issue this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"The reason we don't reveal the substance is because our policy says the misuse or abuse of any substance is a violation," NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said. "The substance is irrelevant. What's important is that a drug, under a positive test, a drug has been misused or abused."

Newman disagrees, will speak to NASCAR, and wants things made more clear for drivers.

"If [a driver] doesn't want a list, then they don't care," Newman said.

 

Thanks to Jayski, NASCAR.com, and ESPN for the quotes and information used in this piece.

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