Driver admits to testosterone use
Published 12:00 am Friday, September 12, 2008
NEW YORK ó Ron Hornaday Jr., the defending NASCAR Craftsman Trucks champion who is second in this yearís standings, admitted using testosterone for more than a year before it was added to the sportís banned list.
Hornaday, 50, told ESPN he received shipments of testosterone and human growth hormone from December 2004 to January 2006, and that the drugs came from an anti-aging center that has been linked to drug-related scandals in the NFL and Major League Baseball.
Hornaday, who won the Camping World 200 on Saturday, acknowledged taking testosterone when shown records from the Palm Beach (Fla.) Rejuvenation Center during an interview with ESPN at his home in North Carolina on Tuesday. He said the growth hormone was sent to his home for his wifeís use.
He said he used testosterone to treat a medical condition that turned out to be a hyperactive thyroid.
Hornaday provided records to ESPN showing that the drugs were prescribed by doctors at the clinic within a day of his visit. He said he didnít see or speak with a doctor before receiving the prescription and used it roughly every day for 13 months by rubbing a ipea-sizedî amount onto his thigh.
iI couldnít see a difference,î he said. iThatís why I stopped.î
NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston told ESPN that Hornaday had not informed anyone in the organization that he was using testosterone and that officials would seek more information from him before the Camping World RV Rental 200 in New Hampshire this weekend.
iItís hard to see whether itís a violation or not,î said Poston, who noted that NASCARís drug-testing policy prohibits the abuse of all drugs. iThere are certain prescriptions that drivers can take, and we look at them on a case-by-case basis. If itís not putting other drivers at risk or enhancing performance ó and itís used as intended ó weíll make determinations as they come up.î
Unlike the NFL and baseball, NASCAR does not have mandatory drug testing. It conducts tests when officials have ireasonable suspicionî that a driver or crew member is abusing prescription or other performance-enhancing drugs. Steroids and human growth hormone were specifically added to its list this year. Earlier this month, NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France said the organization will announce an expansion to its drug-testing policy soon.