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NASCAR: Meth use was witnessed

Official says witnesses will testify to driver's recent and long-term use of meth.

- pstonge@charlotteobserver.com
Monday, Jul. 27, 2009

NASCAR has a “significant number” of witnesses who will testify that suspended driver Jeremy Mayfield used methamphetamines, a NASCAR official said Monday.

The official said those witnesses would testify to recent and long-term use.

The official's remarks followed a court filing Monday by NASCAR attorneys in U.S. District Court. The filing asked U.S. District Court Judge Graham Mullen to lift an injunction he granted this month so Mayfield could return to racing.

Mayfield was suspended May 9 after a positive test for what NASCAR later identified as meth.

An appeals court last week put on hold Mullen's injunction, but Monday's filing is part of a larger lawsuit between NASCAR and Mayfield.

The NASCAR official declined to further characterize the witnesses to Mayfield's meth use, but in Monday's court filing, NASCAR attorneys said they were reluctant to testify after Mayfield angrily responded to similar testimony from his stepmother, Lisa Mayfield.

Jeremy Mayfield said Lisa Mayfield is “basically a whore” and accused her of killing his father, who died in 2007.

Attorneys say Mayfield apparently contacted one of the unnamed witnesses to convince her that despite her recollection, he never used drugs.

Mayfield continues to deny any methamphetamine use, his attorney John Buric said.

In the filing, NASCAR also asked Mullen to select an independent, third-party laboratory that could test a sample of Mayfield's urine.

Mayfield's attorneys have argued that he has tested negative for meth using the same sample that produced a positive NASCAR test, and that the positive NASCAR test might have come from a combination of allergy and other medication Mayfield was taking.

NASCAR attorneys have argued that Mayfield's lab did not use a test sophisticated enough to distinguish meth from those other medications.

Buric called NASCAR's request for a third-party lab “ridiculous.”

“There's clearly a process in place for this,” he said. “We think the rules require that we have the say in where our sample gets sent.”

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