Just recently in NASCAR news, A.J. Allmendinger, a respected driver in the sport of high-speed racing, tested positive for a type of stimulant, subsequently suspending him from racing until his “B” sample is tested further. The sample will be tested by Aegis Sciences Corp. next week in Nashville, Tennessee. One much esteemed NASCAR star, Carl Edwards, says that the random drug-testing policy in place for its drivers needs to be modified. Edwards made this remark concerning the taking of substances that people may not be aware of as far as the drug properties go, “People are imperfect. Tests are imperfect. One of the first things my trainer told me when he started working with me is, ‘Be careful. Anything you ingest is made somewhere, and you don’t know what that factory was making the day before it made the product you’re using.’”
Edwards is pushing for a policy that includes all of the NASCAR drivers supplying an “A” and “B” test in conjuncture with one another instead of randomly throughout the season and for them to have control over what facility the samples are being tested at. He states that this will diminish the angst and worry for drivers. They want to have control over every bit of their testing policy, which I think is a very bad move for the officials to agree with, which thankfully, NASCAR spokesman David Higdon already stated that the old policy was good enough and that there won’t be any drastic changes made as of now. Letting its drivers have direct power over their policy would just allow them to control how their drug tests are being conducted. It’s a “fail-safe method” quoted by Edwards because they would probably just pay off the testers to give faulty sample results. I’m appreciative that the NASCAR committee doesn’t want to change its policy because I like the sport and with drivers having drugs in their system would destroy the sport.
The Daytona 500 runs for hours on end and drivers get tired. That’s maybe why Allmendinger took a stimulant, to keep him up, allowing for alertness during a long drawn-out stint. Fatigue is part of the sport too. If a driver is tired and can’t go on and needs to stop, he didn’t practice enough. It’s not fair for a driver to take any kind of drug to keep them vigilant and wide awake, and another driver to stick to the rules and not cheat.
One of Allmendinger’s Penske Racing teammates, Brad Keselowski, disagreeing with Edwards’ statements, says, “I don’t think we need more politics in the sport. That’s what groups like this bring in, and it’s a greater question with the issue at hand of A.J. There have been people who say it doesn’t matter what (the drug) was. I disagree with that. It matters to me because there’s always that level of uncertainty that I have over any athlete or driver of what they’re taking or not taking.” Changing NASCAR’s policies would be a huge downfall for the sport and should stick with its original drug-testing procedures.
Ryan, Nate. Carl Edwards: “NASCAR Drug-testing Policy Needs Tweaking.” USA Today, 14 July 2012. Web. 19 July 2012
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