By admin | July 23, 2012
By Richard Allen
On Tuesday in Nashville, A.J. Allmendinger will have his â€˜Bâ€™ sample tested at the Aegis Analytical Laboratories. Soon afterwards, the credibility and/or reputation of the entities involved will be upheld or severely damaged.
Allmendingerâ€™s â€˜Aâ€™ sample tested positive for a substance banned by NASCAR prior to the running of the Sprint Cup race in Daytona just over two weeks ago. He has not competed in a race since but the driver maintains that he had unknowingly used a workout supplement which had some ingredients that triggered the positive result.
Since the sample to be tested is simply the other half of that already to have provided the positive result, it would seem hard to imagine that this test will produce a different result. And if that proves to be the case, the driver will have to go through a rehabilitation program as well as other steps to prove to NASCAR that he is indeed drug free.
If the â€˜Bâ€™ sample does test positive, then the credibility of NASCAR and the Aegis Labs will be upheld. This would go a long way toward silencing critics who have questioned the sportâ€™s drug testing process since the most famous case in which a driver tested positive.
In 2009, a sample provided by Jeremy Mayfield was flagged by Aegis and NASCAR. Court records from the ensuing legal jockeying between all the parties involved revealed that the highly potent street drug methamphetamines caused the positive result. The driver has not raced in NASCAR since and has encountered a number of other legal troubles although he continues to proclaim his innocence.
If in the rather unlikely event that Allmendingerâ€™s second test provides a result in the driverâ€™s favor, a firestorm of questions from those who doubted the Mayfield finding of three years ago will arise. The credibility of NASCAR and Aegis will be called into question, and perhaps, rightfully so.
Allmendinger is allowed to have his own people there to observe the second test on Tuesday. I suppose there is always a chance that there could have been a false positive or human error the first time around, although those chances are likely quite slim.
For Allmendinger, a number of races or even the rest of the 2012 season could very well be on the line when his sample is tested. For NASCAR and Aegis, much more than just one season are on the line. Their credibility is at stake.
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