By admin | July 24, 2012
By Richard Allen
According to a statement released by NASCAR on Tuesday evening, A.J. Allmendinger has been suspended indefinitely by the sanctioning body. This indefinite suspension replaces what had originally been called a temporary suspension after the driver’s ‘A’ sample had tested positive for a banned substance prior to the Sprint Cup race in Daytona earlier this month.
The announcement of the indefinite suspension means that Allmendinger’s ‘B’ sample also tested positive for the banned substance. Whenever a driver or any other team member is drug tested by NASCAR, the sample given is split into two parts with the first analyzed immediately and the second held in the event a second test is required.
So now that the testing is completed, what happens next?
According to the same statement that changed Allmendinger’s suspension from temporary to indefinite, the driver will be provided with a letter from NASCAR outlining a process for reinstatement. Should he agree to the letter, Allmendinger will be allowed to participate in the ‘Road to Recovery’ program.
A Twitter post from ESPN’s Marty Smith just after the announcement of the positive ‘B’ test was made stated that, “Allmendinger has hired an independent lab to test everything in his home and motor coach to determine the cause of the failed drug test.”
That seems to imply Allmendinger is at least holding out hope that there will be some finding to somehow vindicate him. If something could be found in his home or motor coach that would match the banned substance in his system, it could be argued that the drug might not have been ingested but somehow absorbed accidentally and unknowingly.
Smith went on to tweet that, “Allmendinger’s agent states sample was ‘within nanograms’ of accepted tolerance & they’re unsure whether to fight or do NASCAR recovery prog.”
The thought of fighting back is at least being considered. But something that must also be considered before that decision is made is that history has already provided an example of a driver who chose to fight back, and that did not end well for the driver.
Jeremy Mayfield was indefinitely suspended in 2009 after a positive test. He then, and still does, insisted that he was innocent and fought back legally. He has not driven in a NASCAR sanctioned race since and has experienced a number of legal troubles following the decision to fight back.
No matter what the banned substance found was and no matter the amount of the banned substance that was found, the best course of action for Allmendinger is to simply comply with the NASCAR process. His best course of action is to complete the rehabilitation program and hope to make a comeback somewhere in the sport as soon as possible.
Otherwise, A.J. Allmendinger may go down in NASCAR history as some sort of hero who fought the establishment but ultimately saw his career disappear into oblivion.
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