By admin | February 8, 2011
By Richard Allen
In May of 2009 NASCAR announced that driver Jeremy Mayfield had failed a drug test and was thus suspended by the sanctioning body. The driver was accused of using methamphetamines but he has adamantly denied using those drugs. Since that time, the debate over the driver’s guilt or innocence has been heated and divisive.
As much as any situation in recent NASCAR history, this one issue has caused fans and media members to take sides and spin the stories in ways to back their claims. Last week, Mayfield appeared on the Speed Network show Race Hub, which rekindled many of the flames in the debate.
Among those who are convinced that Mayfield is innocent, there have been a number of conspiracy theories to support their arguments.
There are many out there who believe NASCAR needed to prove its drug policy had teeth and thus had to catch somebody. And more, these theorists would argue that Mayfield was enough of a star, having won five Sprint Cup races in the past, to show the policy was truly in effect for everyone. But more, according to those who subscribe to this theory, Mayfield was not attached to one of the sport’s power teams which meant his suspension would not offend any major players.
Also, there has been unsubstantiated talk by conspiracy believers that other bigger name drivers were involved in inappropriate activities and NASCAR was trying to get their attention by suspending someone else.
And perhaps the most commonly used theory was that Mayfield had provided a false positive due to his use of a combination of the prescription ADHD drug Adderall and the over-the-counter allergy medication Claritin-D. At the time, Claritin was a sponsor in the sport and the belief was that the sanctioning body went ahead with Mayfield’s suspension to avoid one of its backers receiving bad publicity.
According to Mayfield’s backers there are plenty of reasons to think he is innocent of the charges against him and they are hoping for his eventual vindication in court.
At the same time there are those who support Mayfield, there are seemingly an equal number on website comment pages, message boards and social networking sites who believe the driver is guilty as charged.
For these people, all the evidence needed is that Mayfield failed not one, but two, drug tests. Added to that argument is the fact that the drug testing was performed by an independent laboratory with no reason to purposely falsify a test according to those who support his suspension.
Some of Mayfield’s detractors have speculated that he is carrying out a legal battle in hopes of winning enough people to his side that he will eventual receive a settlement from NASCAR.
All of these scenarios are nothing more than speculation but it is very interesting to see how people have taken sides on this issue and how strongly they are holding to those sides. Oddly, I have noticed that some people who are often anti-NASCAR in their other comments on this site seem to side with NASCAR and against Mayfield in this case. And, the opposite is also true. I have received comments over the past couple of years from fans who often side with NASCAR on other issues but are for Mayfield in this case.
No matter how it eventually turns out, the case of Jeremy Mayfield has been one of the most polarizing situations in recent NASCAR history and it promises to remain that way for some time.
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