Mayfield's hair may be tested in ongoing battle

- NewsChannel 36
Thursday, Jul. 23, 2009

The back and forth between NASCAR and driver Jeremy Mayfield over drug allegations has gotten so bad that in Mayfield's latest statement he describes the humiliation of having to go to the bathroom while someone watched.

So what could bring it all to an end? It turns out it could come down to a piece of hair.

"It's like the bully in school," Jeremy Mayfield told NewsChannel 36 last week. "Every three to five days I go get tested."

Who ends up in victory lane may come down to the difference between urinating in a cup and pulling a hair.

"The drug that is incorporated into your hair -- it stays there. You get a record, basically, of drug use with the hair," said Dr. Ruth Winecker, the chief toxicologist for the North Carolina Medical Examiner's Office.

She says there's no messing with hair. But no one has tested Mayfield's hair, just his urine samples.

"There are techniques people can use to try to cheat the system," Winecker said.

That's exactly what both sides have accused each other of doing. NASCAR says Mayfield diluted his urine even before testing positive for meth, and Mayfield says NASCAR did something to his urine.

"It's for sure a spiked sample," Mayfield said.

Because 40 minutes after the alleged positive NASCAR test, a separate sample shows Mayfield came up clean.

"There are ways that an individual can also decrease the concentration of the drug in their urine by drinking excess water," Winecker said.

But she says that's not likely in just 40 minutes.

So we asked Mayfield's attorney if they'll be testing his hair as the judge in the case suggested several weeks ago. Attorney John Buric told us they are looking at the possibility, but right now they have been told Mayfield's hair is too short.