The Jeremy Mayfield drug suspension has entered the bizarro phase. We have heard allegations of meth use. Reputations have been shattered. Accusations of political favoritism are flying. And waiting to dole out justice is the federal government.
How did we get here? Let’s go to the timeline.
May 1: NASCAR performs a random urine-based drug test on Sprint Cup driver/owner Jeremy Mayfield in Richmond, Va.
May 5: Mayfield was informed that he had failed a random drug test. Aegis Sciences Corp., which runs NASCAR’s drug testing program, asked Mayfield explain why he might have tested positive.
May 7: After Aegis investigated Mayfield’s explanation and rejected it, Aegis told NASCAR officials on May 7 about the positive test.
May 8: Mayfield showed up at Darlington International Speedway, ready to get on the track, and asked for his backup "B" sample from May 1 to be tested. NASCAR put a rush on the lab order to learn the results before the Southern 500 on May 9. Mayfield then took part in two practice sessions with other cars on the track alongside him. No test was conducted on Mayfield that day, so it is uknown whether he had any drugs in his system.
May 8: Hours before the Southern 500 in Darlington, S.C., NASCAR announced that Mayfield had been suspended indefinitely for failing the May 1 drug test. NASCAR does not reveal which substance Mayfield used. NASCAR does not have an official list of banned substances for drivers. Driver Ryan Newman calls on NASCAR to release a list. NASCAR refuses.
May 13: Mayfield’s wife Shana takes ownership of her husband’s No. 41 Sprint Cup team.