Friday, July 13, 2012

Brad Keselowski: In my opinion

   Brad Keselowski was very clear: He thought his opinion on NASCAR's drug policy probably wasn't share by many, or perhaps anyone other than himself.

   And he didn't think much of Carl Edwards' idea of drivers' collectively organizing an independent group to do testing in tandem with NASCAR.

   His comment, as is typical for Keselowski, were straight-forward and well thought out. This is what he said:

   “I’ve read all the same things, listened to what everybody has had to say and there’s a lot of different takes on what it means. You know, I think I have different views than most everybody else does on it. I’m certainly not supportive of Carl’s idea. I don’t think that there’s a place for things like that. I don’t think we need more politics involved in the sport and that’s what groups like that bring in. I think it’s a greater question to me of when I look at the issue at hand with A.J., there have been some people who said it doesn’t matter what it was. I disagree with that. I think it does matter what it was. It does to me. It might not to everybody else but it matters to me what it was because there’s always going to be that level of uncertainty that I have over any athlete or driver that performs at these levels and what they’re taking or not taking. 

   "It’s so difficult to give a great explanation of how I feel about it but I think that I want to believe that any performer or athlete out there would not be dumb enough to take a drug that is against the law, illegal. It just stands to reason that if you’ve made it this far in the sport that you’ve had the knowledge to not do anything that dumb. But I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s what it was. I hope it wasn’t. I hope it was something simple, you know, a stimulant or whatever release he put out. If that’s the case, it does make a difference. It makes a huge difference because it’s my personal belief and I’ve gone through the injuries and so forth. I think you guys saw that last year. It’s my personal belief that nothing should be allowed, nothing. I don’t feel like you should be able to take Flintstone (vitamin) pills. It’s my personal belief. I think you’re race car drivers; you should have to overcome it. I think it’s a bunch of bullshit that people are allowed to take supplements or any of those things. I don’t think that’s right. I don’t think any athlete should be allowed to take that but that’s my own personal beliefs. But where the gray area comes in is what is allowed per the law is not necessarily allowed per whatever drug codes through all these sports. That creates another set of issues. That’s why I think nothing should be allowed.

   “So at the end of the day there are things that are still allowed and who gets to pick and choose what they are I don’t know. I don’t understand that process. I know my own personal code of avoiding it is to take nothing at all. I can still tell you when you go in that room to have a drug test taken, I’ve never taken drugs in my life. I’m scared shitless of it. It’s honestly a phobia of mine. But I go in that room and I’m still scared because you know that if something goes wrong, it’s a death sentence for your career. It’s over. And you know it’s in human hands and by the very nature of being in human hands, there is potential for error. I’d like to sit here and believe that it’s gone through all the processes to make sure that it was done right and that no one would go out on a limb and risk someone’s career if it wasn’t checked, checked and back checked. But I also know that the course of history shows that humans make mistakes even when they check, check and recheck. That’s why airplanes crash. That’s how things go. There are plenty of redundancies in the airlines and they still find a way to crash. So there’s mixed emotions for sure on my end. 

   "I wish that the pool of athletes that compete and make money like we do, whether it’s here today in NASCAR or the NFL or even the Olympics, it would be my preference that you were allowed to take nothing and that it was you’re job to just do it, to just go out there and perform throughout the pain or whatever it is that ails you. But obviously that’s not the situation. Until we get together as a group or as a society and make that a position, there’s always going to be this gray area to where we’re asking ourselves what supplement is right and what’s not, you know, what’s okay and what’s not. I laugh out loud when I read this list of people who say ‘Well I have my supplements checked’ like there’s some special list of supplements that are okay but these aren’t. What kind of world is that? That’s terrible. Nothing should be allowed. Because then it just comes down to who you’ve got for a doctor or a lawyer that says that this is okay and this is not. And I think that we all know that you can get a doctor or a lawyer these days to say you’re okay with anything you do. It reminds me of an old Jeff Foxworthy joke about the difference between, you know, kids and senior citizens. You worry about drugs with both of them. The only difference is that one is legal and one is not. I can remember having grandmas and so forth that took drugs that would knock you out and then couldn’t even stand up. They were all legal you know. They might not be legal in this sport but you still have to wonder about those things. 

   "So I’m sure that I have different views than everyone else. I don’t think there needs to be any committee that approves drugs or supplements or whatever it is. I just think you shouldn’t be allowed to take anything. You should just man-up and drive the damn race car."