JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS met with media and discussed NASCAR's drug testing policy. WHAT'S YOUR OPINION ABOUT NASCAR CLASSIFYING THE DRUG JEREMY MAYFIELD TESTED POSITIVE FOR AS A "SERIOUS" DRUG? "Out of my own curiosity and I'm...
JIMMIE JOHNSON, NO. 48 LOWE'S IMPALA SS met with media and discussed NASCAR's drug testing policy.
WHAT'S YOUR OPINION ABOUT NASCAR CLASSIFYING THE DRUG JEREMY MAYFIELD TESTED POSITIVE FOR AS A "SERIOUS" DRUG? "Out of my own curiosity and I'm sure everyone's, everybody want to know what it is. And I'm sure for privacy issues there are reasons why they aren't disclosing that information. I would hope that the person that is charged or being accused of knows exactly what is going on. I think we all share the same concern. We all want to know what the hell it is. But as long as Jeremy does and I know that he's claimed there were prescription issues and a combination of things, as long as he has a fair chance to prove himself to the testing company. It's not really NASCAR. That's the other part of this that I've had to get in my head. It's not what NASCAR is saying. NASCAR hired the company that's performing the test. But I think that at the end of the day, my own curiosity."
NOW THAT BRIAN FRANCE SAID IT'S ONE OF THESE TWO THINGS, MAYBE IT'S PERFORMANCE ENHANCING OR SOMETHING FAR MORE ILLICIT, DOES THAT CONCERN YOU? "I guess if it's performance enhancing, I don't look at it from a safety aspect on track. If it's something else, then you think well shoot, I don't want to be on the race track with somebody who's under the influence anyway. So that would be the separation and where the concern would come from."
SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR, THERE HAVE BEEN APPROX. 5 GUYS WHO TESTED POSITIVE. DOES THAT SURPRISE YOU? "From a performance enhancing standpoint, I just, in my own mind, have not seen the need to mess with any of that. Yeah, you want to be faster. Yeah, you need to recover. Yeah there's all those different things that pit crew guys and maybe even some drivers would need. But just from visually looking at people and understanding people and knowing our garage area, I just don't see there being an issue for performance enhancing drugs. The other side of it, recreational stuff and all that other stuff, you never know. There are a lot of people that have hard cards; a lot of people in the garage area. Those numbers could be higher. That's the part that I would expect more than performance enhancing stuff."
HAVE YOU BEEN TESTED AND IF SO, HOW MANY TIMES? "Yes. Three times."
MANDATORY PRE-SEASON AND TWO RANDOMS? "I think two randoms. A random at Darlington and a random at Daytona."
IS THAT SOMETHING THAT STRESSES YOU OUT? OR, DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE POLICY AND SO YOU'RE NOT FEARFUL? "I have nothing to fear but there hasn't been a lot of clarity in things. When it was introduced, we were all nervous that there wasn't really a list of what's legal and what's not. So I took all the steps that they advised and any prescription drugs that I'm on. I got a doctor's note and release and took that in to the initial test. I have nothing to be fearful of, but you just wish there was some clarity in certain aspects of it."
DO YOU THINK A LOT OF DRIVERS ARE PARANOID, WONDERING IF WHATEVER THEY'RE TAKING IS OKAY OR NOT OKAY? "Yes and no. In some ways, you do. But, we all sat in the same meeting. We asked questions. And they're like look, we can't say one thing (in particular) you can't take because there are different medical conditions and we're looking for people that are abusing certain things. So I guess the only times I've been concerned now that seasonal allergies are kicking off and I'm taking two or three Alegra's a day to keep my allergies under control and I hit the random. Is there going to be something there? But they've assured me they can separate those things. They can separate when it's prescription drug and when it's something else. There hasn't been any convincing evidence but they believe us. We can tell."
IT SEEMS LIKE NASCAR IS VERY CLEAR. IT'S LIKE THEY'VE GOT SOMETHING WE DON'T HAVE "I agree with you. Their goal isn't to ruin someone's life and Jeremy's working hard to get his team established and get it up in the points. They must have some good information, I mean they have to. Obviously they ran the test or have the test results, but I don't see them just taking a shot at somebody and turning their life upside down."
THEY PLAYED THE PRIVACY CARD THOUGH WHEN IT COMES TO DISCLOSURE. THEY CALLED HIM A LIAR, VIRTUALLY, IN PUBLIC. THEY SAID JEREMY'S EXPLANATION WAS NOT PLAUSIBLE. THAT BEING THE CASE, SHOULD THEY NOT DISCLOSE WHAT HE DID, GIVEN THE FACT THAT THEY SAID HIS EXPLANATION DIDN'T FLY? DOES THE PUBLIC HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT HE DID IF THEY'RE GOING TO SELL HIM DOWN THE RIVER LIKE THAT? "I don't know. With my own curiosity, I want to know what it is. I'm like hell yeah, I want to know what it is. But I do understand privacy issues."
WHAT'S A PRIVACY ISSUE? HE GOT SUSPENDED. HE GOT SET PACKING. IT'S ALREADY CRUSHED HIS REPUTATION. HOW MUCH WORSE DOES IT MAKE IT IF WE KNOW WHAT HE DID? "I don't know. That's a good question. One side of me, the curiosity kicks in and I want to know just as much as everyone else. And then the flip side is they made it known from the beginning that there were certain levels of privacy involved in all this as we all sat down and listened to them explaining it to us. So I've know that there are levels there that they're not going to commit to and explain on certain levels what's gone on. So there are holding true to form what they told us initially."
DID YOU EVER HAVE TO CALL DR. BLACK AND ASK ABOUT YOUR ALLERGY PILLS? "Initially I did. What they told me was for my baseline test, to list everything that I take. I even went as far as to list multi-vitamins and every single thing that I'm putting in my body. I made sure I listed it. I had notes for my prescriptions to send in. And they said this is great and it's great information and since then, I haven't heard anything. So I guess that's a good thing. You just don't know. You go into an uncomfortable situation with somebody standing behind you and you pee in a cup and you hand the cup to them and you're embarrassed and then you leave. And that's it. So, there are certain aspects of it where you're kind of going with the flow."
-credit: gm racing