NASCAR wants Mayfield ruling reversed
By Jenna Fryer
CHARLOTTE ó NASCAR asked a federal judge Monday to reverse the ruling that lifted driver Jeremy Mayfield’s indefinite suspension for failing a random drug test.
The motion filed in U.S. District Court asked Judge Graham Mullen to reverse the injunction he issued last Wednesday that cleared Mayfield to return to competition. NASCAR also filed notice of its intent to appeal to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va.
Mayfield was suspended May 9 for a failed drug test, and NASCAR has identified the substance as methamphetamine.
Despite his reinstatement, Mayfield did not attempt to qualify for Saturday night’s event at Daytona International Speedway, and he is not on the preliminary entry list for this weekend’s race at Chicago.
NASCAR in its filing disputed Mullen’s conclusion that the chance of a false positive on Mayfield’s drug test was “quite substantial.”
NASCAR said Mullen failed to properly consider the reliability of assessments by Mayfield employees that the driver did not ingest methamphetamine; the sophistication and sensitivity of NASCAR-commissioned Aegis Laboratories drug-testing procedures that prevent false positives; and an affidavit from a Mayfield expert that found the level of methamphetamine in Mayfield’s sample would make him a chronic user.
Mayfield attorney Bill Diehl argued to Mullen that Mayfield shows none of the physical characteristics of a chronic meth user, and if he tested positive at the levels NASCAR claimed, Mayfield would be “either a walking zombie or he’s dead.”
NASCAR also questioned in its filing Mullen’s belief that Mayfield can be tested daily, including hair samples, to see if he is a safety risk.
“The Court improperly decided without the benefit of any evidence in the record that a reliable and accurate same-day test for methamphetamine exists which can ensure Mayfield’s drug-free participation in upcoming NASCAR events,” court documents state, adding there is no evidence a hair test for methamphetamine exists.
“Mayfield continues to pose a threat to public safety, thereby warranting NASCAR’s immediate appeal of this Court’s decision.”