Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Attorney says no suit has been filed
By Marty Smith
NASCAR driver/owner Jeremy Mayfield, suspended indefinitely from the sport for violating its substance-abuse policy, has retained legal counsel in the effort to clear his name.
Bill Diehl, the same attorney who represented Elliott Sadler last winter in a dispute with Richard Petty Motorsports, confirmed Wednesday he is working with Mayfield, but that no suit has yet been filed.
"Yes, we're working hard for Jeremy," Diehl said. "Either we'll work it out or the court will. We have not filed yet, but we're working hard. That's all I can tell you."
NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston confirmed that Diehl had been in contact with the organization.
"I can confirm that Mr. Diehl has been in touch with NASCAR, and we've provided him with relevant information pertaining to Jeremy's suspension, including the toxicology report," Poston said.
Mayfield was not immediately available for comment.
Mayfield's suspension was announced by the governing body on May 9 at Darlington Raceway, after Mayfield tested positive for what NASCAR chairman Brian France called a "serious infraction."
France defined "serious" drugs as either recreational or performance-enhancing, and in addressing the media last weekend ruled out the performance-enhancing variety.
Mayfield denied on Saturday that he took a substance that violated NASCAR's substance-abuse policy, and plans to do whatever he has to, even if that means legal action, to override his suspension.
Mayfield also vehemently denied using illegal drugs, maintained that Claritin-D coupled with a prescription had triggered his positive test, and that NASCAR hadn't divulged what drug trigged the positive test result.
"I have no paperwork whatsoever for what I tested for," Mayfield said. "I don't. They've shown me nothing."
Poston said in a statement that same evening that NASCAR had verbally informed Mayfield of the substance on three separate occasions. The administrator of NASCAR's drug testing policy, Dr. David Black from Aegis Labs in Nashville, Tenn., said Claritin-D wasn't a plausible explanation.
Mayfield also said he has no plans to attend rehabilitation, which is required for reinstatement.
"Why would I?" he said. "Would you go to rehab if you didn't have a problem?"
Marty Smith covers NASCAR for ESPN.