NASCAR: France defends drug policy
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. ó Brian France defended NASCAR’s drug testing policy as the toughest in professional sports, despite a federal judge’s ruling that overturned driver Jeremy Mayfield’s suspension.
U.S. District Court Judge Graham Mullen questioned the test results, saying the possibility of a false positive was “quite substantial” and ruled the harm to Mayfield significantly outweighed the harm to NASCAR.
But NASCAR’s chairman said the sport needs a tough system that bans impaired drivers from competition.
“We remain very comfortable and very calm despite the ruling, that our policy is thorough, it’s accurate, and it’s fair,” France said Friday at Daytona International Speedway, site of tonight’s race.
“It’s our responsibility to protect the drivers, the fans, other participants within the events. We have a very unique challenge relative to all sports, which is the inherent danger of somebody impaired on the racetrack.”
France said NASCAR is still exploring its legal options concerning the injunction. The civil suit filed by Mayfield and NASCAR’s countersuit still remain.
But the chairman insisted NASCAR intends to defend its drug testing policy “very vigorously.”
“Our first responsibility, despite the ruling on Wednesday or any ruling, will always be that we are going to make sure every way we can that everyone who is driving these race cars are of clear mind,” France said. “We don’t just go laying the hammer down and ruining someone’s career. That’s not what we are talking about when we are talking about Jeremy’s situation.”