Monday, May 11, 2009

Jeremy Mayfield Suspended for Violating NASCAR Banned Substance Rule

Jeremy Mayfield has been banned from racing in NASCAR for failing to pass a random drug test. He says the failure was due to a bad "cocktail" of prescription and over-the-counter allergy drugs. Yeah, sure, Jeremy, that's it! I am a firm believer in innocent till proven guilty but this isn't a legal, let's get to court issue. There won't be a judge and jury. In NASCAR, for better or worse, the France family sets the rules, and when you violate them, you can't play, or in this case, race, anymore. Seems one or two other members of Jeremy's team have been suspended for substance violations this year as well so there may be a cultural problem in and around his team. Tough times--take your cars and go home.

Very little sympathy from me on these kind of violations. Major League Baseball might not be in the shape it is today had they implemented testing and harsh punishments much earlier. Same with the NFL. The one major difference between the NFL, MLB, and the NBA are the unions representing the players, and contesting every charge, taking all issues to arbitration, etc., delaying suspensions, and even preventing them in some cases. In NASCAR, for better or worse, the ruling is the ruling and that is it. Every now and then the competition committee adjusts a fine for leaving a bolt loose, or lowering the car a centimeter, or something else deemed to increase the advantage one team has over the rest, but it is very rare to see a fine or punishment lowered. There are plenty of other teams and drivers, even in this tough economic environment, to fill-out the 43 car field each week when one of the teams or drivers moves on.

The working man, NASCAR fan knows about these rules. Many, many employers require passing a drug test to get or keep a job today. Them's the rules! And, if you operate machinery of any kind, you may be required to randomly "pee in a cup" to prove you aren't under the influence of any banned substances. You can disagree with the principle, but employees know they have to be clean to get and keep jobs.

So, Jeremy, the best advice I have for you is to come clean, apologize to the fans you have, get into rehab (even though I'm sure you don't need it) and get on with your car owner/driver career, if the France family decides you can.

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