Sunday, July 15, 2012

Time for some facts on NASCAR's drug testing policy

   Everyone in NASCAR - and outside - is full of theories about what may or may not have triggered A.J. Allmendinger's failed random drug test. Much of the speculation has been triggered by carefully worded - but hardly specific - statements issued on his behalf by his business manager. Outside "experts" have also offered their own theories on what "could" have triggered the result.

   Almost ALL of these stories/theories/hypotheses can be rejected outright based simply on facts already in existence.

   Let's review:

   Fact No. 1: NASCAR and A.J. Allmendinger already know EXACTLY the substance that triggered the positive result. No further testing is needed to determine the substance.

   Fact No. 2: A.J. Allmendinger has already been offered the opportunity to provide any plausible explanation for a positive test result to the Medical Review Officer and those explanations were rejected.
   From the NASCAR Cup Series rulebook, Section 19-10: A form will be provided "to be completed by the NASCAR member that identifies all prescription and over-the-counter medications consumed by the NASCAR member in the preceding THREE months." NASCAR Members can submit the information in any way they choose.
   In addition, before the MRO notifies NASCAR of the results of a positive 'A' sample, the MRO contacted Allmendinger again to provide any plausible explanation for the positive test.  

   Fact. No. 3: The testing of Allmendinger's 'B' sample will involve NO additional testing that wasn't done for the 'A' sample.
   In the NASCAR Cup Series rulebook, Section 19-11, Part B, No. 3: "The 'B' Sample test will be performed in accordance with the SAME procedures used by Aegis in the original test of the 'A' specimen."

   Fact No. 4: NASCAR would not have suspended Allmendinger before giving him a chance to ask for the 'B' sample to be tested unless the substance in question could cause a danger to himself or other competitors.
   In the NASCAR Cup Series rulebook, Section 19-11, Part B, No. 7: "Upon notification of the original 'A' specimen positive test, NASCAR, in its sole discretion, may temporarily suspend a NASCAR Member's license before the 'B' sample test is completed based on the following reasons:
   (a) Concerns regarding the safety of the NASCAR Members and others at the Event or on-track.
   (b) Concerns regarding the fairness of a competition.
   (c) Exigent circumstances
   (d) Undue delay to accommodate the presence of the NASCAR Member at the 'B' sample test."
   Note: As part of routine MRO practice, every time a competitor or official is informed of an 'A' positive, the MRO asks whether he or she wishes to have the 'B' sample tested. NASCAR Members are officially given 72 hours to make the request.

   If you take these four facts of NASCAR's drug testing policy into account, you will find almost all of the theories, speculation, gossip and other explanations offered over the last week will be found to be completely irrelevant.