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Monday, July 20, 2009
Attorneys: NASCAR hasn't proved case

By David Newton
ESPN.com

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Attorneys for Jeremy Mayfield filed papers on Monday arguing NASCAR has not shown sufficient reason that the court should overturn the decision to lift the Sprint Cup driver's suspension for violating the substance-abuse policy.

The papers filed in U.S. District Court are a counter to NASCAR's request on Wednesday asking for an immediate stay of the injunction after Mayfield tested positive for methamphetamine for a second time.

Mayfield
Mayfield

The counterclaim did not address the second test.

Mayfield has since claimed the governing body spiked the July 6 test to get the desired results. His attorney, John Buric, released results of another test taken on the same day but performed by LabCorp, an independent laboratory not hired by NASCAR, that came up negative for methamphetamines and amphetamines.

NASCAR officials argue that the LabCorp test should not be recognized because there is no evidence that the sample is legitimate or that proper procedure was used.

Asked for specifics about the test, such as whether Mayfield was directly observed giving the sample, Bill Bonello of LabCorp said, "LabCorp does not comment on drug testing results."

NASCAR also pointed to a signed affidavit by Mayfield's stepmother, Lisa Mayfield, saying Mayfield has used methamphetamines since 1998.

NASCAR argued in its original case and in its appeal that Mayfield presents a danger to fellow competitors and fans if allowed back on the track because he has tested positive for a "dangerous, illegal drug."

Buric in his counterclaim said that has not been proved and argued that Judge Graham Mullen, who granted Mayfield the temporary injunction lifting the suspension, was right when he ruled "the likelihood of a false positive in this case is really quite substantial."

Whether or not the injunction is overturned by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals or Judge Graham over the next couple of days likely will have no impact on whether Mayfield returns to the track for this week's Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway or any other race.

Mayfield told ESPN.com last week that he has no plans to compete until the matter is resolved, saying he is putting all of his financial resources into proving his innocence.

Mayfield also has expressed an interest in selling his team because he lacks the money and sponsorship to get back on the track. He has not raced since Mullen granted the injunction.

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.