NASCAR has continued to defend its drug policy despite ongoing criticism. A.J. Allmendinger is still suspended indefinitely and plans to enter the Road to Recovery Program, but this has not stopped questions about drug testing in NASCAR. Both Brian France and Mike Helton have addressed questions, but I think unresolved issues remain.
Brian France and Mike Helton Defend NASCAR
Brian France and Mike Helton have been quick to defend NASCAR's drug testing policies. France pointed out that they think it is a "solid system that we believe does the job intended." Helton mentioned that they take "responsibility very seriously." They both believe the system is functioning perfectly and does not need any changes. Their recent comments strongly resemble NASCAR's response in 2009 after the Jeremy Mayfield controversy. In both cases, the organization defended the drug policy.
Criticism of the Policy
One of the most common criticisms from fans in the aftermath of A.J. Allmendinger's positive drug test has been the lack of transparency from NASCAR. The organization has decided not to disclose the exact type of drug revealed in the test. Although it has become widely know that an amphetamine was found, details have not been shared.
Mike Helton has explained that they do not plan on disclosing the drug, but drivers are welcome to share information with the media. He stated, "If the member wants to, that's their privilege to." I understand that NASCAR wants to protect the privacy of drivers. However, in this case, A.J. Allmendinger's manager has admitted that they still do not know the exact drug found by the test. The lack of transparency and ongoing secrecy has affected the actual driver involved in the controversy.
Tara Ragan, who is A.J. Allmendinger's manager, mentioned that they have ruled out several substances. She stated, "It was not cocaine, not ecstasy, not marijuana, not alcohol." However, they still do not know the actual drug found by the testing facility and have been waiting since July 7. NASCAR has a right to protect the privacy of drivers, but it should not inhibit the transfer of information to the ones actually affected by the test.
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Growing up in Indiana, Lana developed a love for motorsports at an early age. She follows NASCAR, IndyCar and Formula One. Follow @Lana_Bandoim on Twitter.