AJ Allmendinger to bring own experts
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Suspended NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger has elected to bring his own experts to the testing of his "B" urine sample, The Associated Press has learned.
Under NASCAR's drug testing policy, an individual can bring in experts for the second test and Allmendinger wants his own toxicologist and attorney present, two people familiar with the case told the AP on condition of anonymity Thursday because the process is confidential.
Because Allmendinger is bringing his own people, the test of the sample will not occur until next week. Allmendinger has the right to take the time needed to assemble his team of experts.
Allmendinger was suspended by NASCAR on Saturday for failing a random drug test taken June 29.
A statement released Wednesday by his business manager said Allmendinger tested positive for a stimulant that has not been revealed. Allmendinger has denied knowingly taking a banned substance, and said he is collecting his medications and supplements in an attempt to figure out what got him in trouble.
The 30-year-old Allmendinger is the second Sprint Cup Series driver to be suspended under the NASCAR drug policy implemented in 2009.
"Obviously I would never do anything to jeopardize my opportunity here at Penske Racing or to my fellow drivers. I am very conscious about my training and health and would never knowingly take a prohibited drug," he said in an earlier statement.
According to NASCAR's drug policy, a stimulant is defined as "amphetamine, methamphetamine, Ecstasy (MDMA), Eve (MDEA), MDA, PMA, Phentermine, and other amphetamine derivatives and related compounds."
Denny Hamlin, speaking at a golf tournament in Charlotte on Thursday, said NASCAR drivers have to be extremely careful with what they ingest and awareness was heightened following Jeremy Mayfield's 2009 suspension.
"They kind of set out from the beginning, NASCAR does, that when you're taking supplements you have to document it all," Hamlin said. "If you don't, you can find yourself in trouble. With the whole Mayfield situation that went on a few years ago, you would think NASCAR is 100 percent positive if they pulled someone out of the car. Hopefully for AJ's sake he has everything documented and he'll be fine."
Penske Racing will use Sam Hornish Jr. this weekend in the No. 22 Dodge at New Hampshire.
Mayfield, the first driver to be suspended under the policy, tested positive for methamphetamine. He has denied for more than three years that he ever took meth, and blamed the positive test on a mix of an over-the-counter allergy remedy and a prescription for attention deficit disorder.
Rather than go through NASCAR's recovery program, Mayfield fought in court to have his suspension overturned. He abandoned his bid earlier this year.
Allmendinger business manager Tara Ragan said Allmendinger is working through NASCAR's process to resolve the issue.
"AJ and all of us at Walldinger Racing respect NASCAR's testing program, and he has requested that his "B" sample be tested as part of the process of getting to the bottom of this," she said. "We will have the opportunity to review all of the scientific data surrounding the test following the "B" sample test, but our understanding is that AJ's test was slightly above the threshold."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press