NASCAR’s Mayfield Allegedly Tested Positive for Meth

Posted on June 10th, 2009
Posted in Methamphetamines

Although NASCAR has not officially revealed the drug racer Jeremy Mayfield tested positive for last month, ESPN reports that that drug was methamphetamine, citing two anonymous sources. NASCAR chairman Brian France described the violation as “serious,” but Mayfield denied using an illegal drug the next day.

Neither side can elaborate because of a court-issued gag order associated with a lawsuit filed by Mayfield. The lawsuit contends the methamphetamine accusation, stating it was a prescription for Adderall, which is commonly used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The lawsuit also claims he took Claritin-D, an over-the-counter allergy medication.

NASCAR’s countersuit cited the effects of the unnamed drug (the name of the drug was redacted from court documents), saying that it is “a dangerous and highly addictive drug (that can) impair a person’s driving skills, cognitive functioning, and judgment, and creates the risk of great harm to NASCAR drivers, team officials, and spectators…Use may cause excessive aggression or exaggerated self-confidence as well as numerous other physical and mental side effects detrimental to the health and safety of a stock car driver.”

Methamphetamine is a very addictive stimulant that increases the levels of dopamine in the brain, which is involved with the experience of pleasure, motivation, and motor function. The National Institute of Drug Abuse states that chronic methamphetamine abuse can significantly change “how the brain functions…associated with reduced motor performance and impaired verbal learning.”

NASCAR’s documents also noted that Mayfield has been in three accidents in 2009, including accidents in which he tested positive for the illegal drug, was under the influence of a drug he failed to report to NASCAR, and/or was under the influence of a combination of drugs which exceeded the safe levels under NASCAR’s substance abuse policy.”

Mayfield has not been allowed to compete since he tested positive on May 2. He has raced in 433 Cup races with five victories, but has not won a race since August 2005.
 

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