Could NASCAR Be Wrong About Mayfield, Drug Tests?

Sam HeganCorrespondent IJuly 15, 2009

DARLINGTON, SC - MAY 08: Jeremy Mayfield, driver of the #41 Toyota, stands in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Southern 500 on May 8, 2009 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)

I did not intend to get into the debate over NASCAR’s random drug testing of Jeremy Mayfield. I intended to stay mum even when NASCAR reacted to the Mayfield’s judicial injunction. Yet, the more said about it, the more my opinion itch is driving me crazy. Therefore, I will now scratch my opinion and put my two bits in.

I will start by telling a personal experience dealing with a drug test. I am physically disabled and I take a daily dosing of pain medications. Because of the type of medications I take and laws that bind my physician, I have a random drug screening. I subject myself voluntarily to these tests and I know exactly what medications I take.

About two years ago, I was in to see my doctor on a scheduled office visit and was told it was pee-testing time. The clinic has an extremely expensive electronic drug screen machine that gives an almost instant print out of what is in my system. I was shocked right out of my socks when a brusque nurse I refer to as “Nurse Ratchet” asked me if I smoke crack or took barbiturates.

The first thought through my mind was, this has to be some kind of elaborate joke, so I smiled and before I could catch my runaway mouth uttered, “Why hell yeah, at least twice daily.” She frowned and walks out of the room. I was so proud of myself for not falling for such a crude deception.

A few minutes later, my doctor walked in and announced that she could no longer treat me due to the regulation she operated under. I need to let her receptionist know where to send my medical info. Talk about knock me over with a hammer. She was dead serious.

I asked her why I was being tossed out on my rear. She said that when the test came back positive and I confessed to Nurse Ratchet that since I indeed was consuming illegal drugs twice a day, I no longer qualified for the pain regiment she offered. Now I was wondering, what positive test? Well, my just-taken random pee test came back positive for both crack and barbiturates.

I told her quickly I never touched such garbage and I demanded a blood test to clear my standing. She allowed the test and of course, it came back clean. So what went wrong with the first test? How could a very expensive testing machine make such a huge mistake?

The fact that I was a patient of long standing was the sole reason the second voluntary test was allowed. The machine was taken offline and the calibration checked. That test came back within specs and now other tests made by the clinic were suspect.

The manufacturer stated emphatically that if their machine’s test were positive, then it would prove 99.9 percent positive. Yet with my documented blood test right there disputing their machine’s test, they were saying the blood tests were wrong, or the test was tainted by the clinic.

So, when I hear about a positive drug test from a NASCAR driver and there is a dispute over that test, I will think the driver is innocent due to my own experience. His competitors have almost to a man stated that they never felt they were in danger competing against Mayfield.

The only negative comment I heard about from a NASCAR driver was Jeff Burton. He stated that he was mad at Mayfield for putting him in danger. Burton’s comment was in my mind taken out of context and slanted to the point he sounds like a NASCAR stooge.

From what I’ve read and the comments I’ve heard by NASCAR makes Mayfield sound as if he is the next Tony Montana, the drug kingpin character portrayed by Al Pacino in the 1983 movie, “Scarface.” Mayfield has agreed to take another test to clear his name and due to mistakes made in scheduling or making the wrong turn, he is automatically and immediately labeled as a liar by the NASCAR spin doctors.

Did Mayfield take illegal narcotics? If he did, then he is the stupidest person on this planet considering what he will loose. Did NASCAR make a fiasco of the handling of this issue? There is no doubt about that, and they should apologize to Mayfield publicly and do another test using another testing facility. If Mayfield was taking Meth then, he is still taking it now, as the drug is one of the most addictive substances known today.

When will all of the true facts come out about the test without NASCAR, or Mayfield’s spin on it? Sooner would be better than later for all parties concerned, and the party that is in the wrong should publicly admit it.