Do You Believe In Allmendinger?

Allmendinger Tests Positive for Prescription Drug

AJ Allmendinger
Nascar Driver

In an exclusive ESPN interview with Marty Smith, AJ Allmendinger says the drug he tested positive for was a legal substance, prescription Adderall…well it was sort of legal.

You see AJ doesn’t have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), which is what Adderall is prescribed for. So not only does he not have a need for the medication, he doesn’t have a prescription for the medication either. 

Then what’s it doing in his system? AJ tells Smith: ” he had been out in Louisville, Ky., the Wednesday before the Quaker State 400 race at Kentucky Speedway and was tired.  A friend, Allmendinger said, handed him a pill and stated it was a workout supplement that would give him energy. Allmendinger ingested the pill.”

Say what? You took a pill based on what “a friend” says when you know the potential dangers to your career if it turns out to be something it’s not? I guess if the “friend” was really a friend they’d be honest about what it was. They’d know the potential issues with a Nascar Driver being randomly tested. Or better yet, they’d suggest going home and going to be instead of being out partying and giving them a substance they aren’t prescribed. What kind of friend was this anyway?  Not much of one that’s for sure.

Nascar tells Marty Smith that they are unaware of the specific substance Allmendinger took, other than it was amphetamine. They clarified that their testing wont tell them the specific brand of substance. Nascar also said they don’t dispute AJ’s story. It’s information they did not have until now and the information is in the hands of the Nascar Drug Policy Program Manager. 

We’ve all done stupid things based on peer pressure. Anyone who hasn’t made a mistake based on the acts of a “friend” can pass judgement on AJ. Everyone else should shut up and it down.

But here’s the question, is this story believable? Well, it can be proven true or false with a little investigation. Something news reporters back in the day would actually do. They’d ask for the name of the individual and go find that person to ask what they did. They’d ask them to produce the prescription bottle, or where they got the pills from if they didn’t have a prescription.

Of course if that happened, the police might get involved and there could be legal trouble for the so called “friend”. But perhaps AJ should allow that to happen considering the consequences he is suffering, the loss in income and damage to his career and reputation. While AJ is ultimately responsible for what he ingested, there is some accountability for the false representation of the “friend”.

But will such an investigation happen? No. Why? Well that’s a different story, but bottom line news reporters of all kinds don’t report news any more, they report sensationalism. Who cares about the details and facts of the real story. The only important thing today is who gets the first lines out first and can claim the “exclusive” interview status.

So Ok, Mr Marty Smith. You got the exclusive; now finish the job and go get the facts behind the story. Here’s what we want to know (and what I’d ask if this were my job).

  1. How did AJ discover the substance was Adderall? Was this from the private testing he had done at his own expense?
  2. Can we see the report from that lab?
  3. What is the name of the “friend” who gave him the Adderall?
  4. If he won’t disclose that, then there’s some real investigating to be done. Someone in the garage or amongst his crew know who he was out with that night. Let’s ask them. 
  5. Who else was there? Someone knows.
  6. Where was he when this pill was given to him? Was he out at a bar, restaurant, in a parking lot? 
  7. Let’s suppose we track this person down, do they have ADHD? Do they have a legal prescription for Adderall? 
  8. If not, are they aware of the legal implications and dangers of giving a controlled substance to someone? I mean for heavens sake, what were they thinking?!
  9. Do they feel guilty or accountable for the subsequent issues this has created?
  10. If the story is validated, will that help or hurt AJ’s comeback?
  11. How will sponsors react? How will owners react?
  12. In the long term, should Nascar require all owners/teams to hold employee training on the issues of adhering to their Drug Policy?

It’s sad to think of this, but if AJ can make such a stupid decision, have there been other similar situations that have occurred that haven’t been caught? We know about this one because of bad luck on AJ’s part. He just happened to be tapped on this weekend for a random test. But what if someone else had been tapped that weekend. We never would have known. And neither would AJ for that matter.

Since no one will go the extra mile and actually investigate this story, we’re left with the question “Do you believe Allmendinger’s story?” Those that are fans and still love him, will say yes. Those that were are already disappointed or didn’t like him to begin with will say no. In the end, it won’t matter what any of us think. It will matter what Car Owners and Sponsors think.

If you believe everything happens for a reason, than perhaps the reason here was a wake up call for AJ. You can’t trust just anyone when you’re in the spot light. And it’s really stupid to take a pill that someone hands you when you don’t know what it really is!

Even more reason for parents to have that drug talk with their kids. For Parents with young Nascar fans, you may want to read my article about talking to your kids When Sports Idols Fall From Grace. Don’t think you can wait till they’re teenagers to talk to them about the affect of drugs and the impacts they have on one’s life. That talk starts when they begin school in pre-school and kindergarten; where they will be exposed to drug abuse and it’s effect on kids and families.

© 2012 Evil Wordsmith. All Rights Reserved.