NASCAR CEO backs drug-testing program

Posted July 24, 2012, at 7:57 p.m.

LONDON — NASCAR CEO Brian France said Tuesday he is confident in the series’ drug testing program that is under scrutiny again after A.J. Allmendinger’s failed test.

“We believe it’s a strong testing system that works,” France told The Associated Press in London, where the NASCAR executive will speak Wednesday at the Beyond Sports Summit. “We’ve got the best guy (David Black) running the program, and it’s a solid system that we believe does the job intended.”

Allmendinger was suspended July 7 after failing a random drug test taken in late June. Allmendinger said he tested positive for a stimulant he has not revealed, but denied knowingly taking a banned substance. His backup “B” urine sample was being tested Tuesday by Aegis Analytical Laboratories in Nashville, Tenn.

If that sample tests positive, the suspension becomes indefinite. If it passes, he would be immediately reinstated.

“Certainly we would quickly clear A.J.’s name if the B sample came back negative,” France said. “If the B is wrong, we will do a thorough investigation to figure out what went wrong.”

Because Allmendinger has said he tested positive for a stimulant, there’s been speculation that it came from a supplement or energy drink consumed by the first-year Penske Racing driver. Allmendinger works out regularly and is known to be health conscious..

He is the second Sprint Cup Series driver suspended under the tightened policy implemented in 2009. Jeremy Mayfield was the first driver, and he unsuccessfully sued to have the results overturned.

NASCAR does not reveal the substance found in a positive test, but court documents showed it was methamphetamine that Mayfield had in his system.

France indicated Tuesday that NASCAR is unlikely to reconsider its policy of not revealing the substance.

Allmendinger’s results are expected either Wednesday or Thursday. Penske Racing has been using Sam Hornish Jr. in his absence, and the team said it will take Hornish to Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend if Allmendinger’s suspension is not overturned.

Should the suspension stand, Allmendinger’s only avenue is to complete a Road to Recovery program tailored to him by Aegis and Black, its CEO.

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