In lengthy interview, Jeremy Mayfield maintains innocence, refuses to undergo NASCAR treatment program (video)
Jun 11, 2014, 11:20 PM EDT
More than five years after being suspended indefinitely for failing a NASCAR-mandated drug test, Jeremy Mayfield on Wednesday again insisted he did nothing wrong to warrant his banishment from the sport.
And while he has settled other legal problems, Mayfield remains adamant he will not go through NASCAR’s Road to Recovery treatment program which could lead to his eventual reinstatement in the sport.
In a one-hour interview with SportingNews.com’s Bob Pockrass, most likely the longest interview Mayfield has given to date, he shed little new light or broke little new ground in his ongoing fight to clear his name and return to racing.
Mayfield was suspended by NASCAR for failing a drug test that indicated the usage of methamphetamine.
“I don’t use drugs, for sure,” Mayfield told Pockrass. “I don’t drink. I might have a couple of beers a year, maybe. … I don’t steal. I haven’t broke into any buildings and stole race parts and stuff.”
Mayfield again on Wednesday insisted the test, administrated by NASCAR consultant and drug testing/recovery program administrator Dr. David Black, produced a false positive.
He continues to claim that a mixture of the doctor-prescribed hyperactivity disorder drug Adderall and the over the counter allergy medicine Claritin-D altered the test results.
Mayfield mounted a legal battle against NASCAR that extended for more than three years before he lost the case in court. The only way he can get back into the sport is to go through the Road to Recovery program, which is what NASCAR has required since he was first suspended.
But because Mayfield remains adamant that he will not go through the program, it essentially means his NASCAR career is over for good.
“The easy road would have been, ‘OK, yeah, I will do your road to recovery Dr. Black and I will go to your rehab,'” Mayfield told Pockrass. “But I just didn’t believe that that’s right. And I still don’t believe it’s right. … I don’t feel like I did anything wrong. And still don’t today.”
Mayfield is the only driver who has been suspended by NASCAR that has refused to go through the Road to Recovery treatment program.
By contrast, AJ Allmendinger was suspended in 2012 for using Adderall. He promptly went through the Road to Recovery program and was reinstated by NASCAR less than two months later.
In addition to the suspension, Mayfield has also incurred other legal troubles since then, including being charged with having stolen property on his former estate.
Mayfield eventually entered an Alford plea – in which a defendant agrees there is enough evidence to prove guilt against him or her, but does not admit to the act – to a pair of misdemeanor charges for possession of stolen property and possession of drug paraphernalia.
As a result, Mayfield avoided jail, the case was resolved and he has been able to move forward with the next phase of his life.
And that includes getting back to racing – but only at non-NASCAR sanctioned tracks and races.
He recently started a web site that further tells his side of what he and his family have gone through over the last five years, as well as restarting his racing career, including driving modifieds in an event this weekend at Ace Speedway in Altamahaw, N.C. (northeast of Greensboro).
Mayfield made 433 starts in his Sprint Cup career, earning five wins, 48 top-five and 96 top-10 finishes.
While it would seem Mayfield’s problems would all go away and he could resume his racing career if he only went through the Road to Recovery, that won’t be happening any time soon – if ever, he insisted again.
“You’ve got to stand up for what you believe in,” Mayfield said. “If you didn’t, you’re not American anymore.”
Follow me @JerryBonkowski
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