NASCAR: Brian France Talks About Drugs, Policy, And Jeremy Mayfield

David YeazellSenior Analyst IMay 15, 2009

Speaking at a special press conference today, Brian France, chairman and CEO of NASCAR, made a couple of things very clear.


NASCAR is standing firm on its drug policy, the toughest in sports, and we will never know, from NASCAR, what substance caused Jeremy Mayfield to fail a random drug test.


"What we have said is this: last weekend we had a serious violation of our substance abuse policy, which in our situation, earns you an automatic and indefinite suspension. That is where we stand with Jeremy today," said France.


Francealso said they are sticking with their policy of the past 20 years. That policy is pretty simple: NASCAR does not disclose certain information.


"There are two issues," said France. "First, it is a serious matter, and second, there is a privacy issue here; we are dealing with someone’s medical records."


France went on to say that, in NASCAR’s view, there is nothing to be gained by disclosing exactly what the substance was in Jeremy’s, or any one else’s case.


"There is no benefit to anyone to jeopardize someone else’s privacy."


Another part to this issue is: what exactly are banned substances?


"We do have a list, it’s a broad list," said France.

"The drivers, it depends on which one, are happy to look at the list. We show it to them."


Another can of worms waiting to be opened here is: what drivers are allowed to see this list?


This list, as France said, is also open to the media for discussion. But, banned substances are not exclusive to NASCAR’s list.


"There are things in the scientific world that are changing all the time. Our laboratory would have a list and would have an expanding list, and it wouldn't be subject to just that list."


Certainly Brian France understood what he said in the previous statement. Does anyone else?


France’s statement can be broken down to a much simpler explanation.


NASCAR has a list of banned substances, and their lab has a list, and that list is ever changing. But, if NASCAR wants to add or subtract a substance, just in case they want to crucify someone, then at their discretion, the list can be modified.


In the end, France made his final remarks on the situation very clear.


"There are a number of things that occur from the moment you're notified you have a positive test of a serious manner. The final process is the road to be reinstated. That part is a very long process."


NASCAR has made up its mind about the failed test, and there is no changing that. Unless Mayfield reacts the way NASCAR wants him to react, it will be a very long time, if ever, before he will drive a race car again, or be allowed to enter a car as an owner.