When someone mentions Doping and Racing four names come to my mind: Tim Richmond, Tomas Enge, Jeremy Mayfield and AJ. Allmendinger.
These four Drivers have differents stories connected with doping.
Here’s their stories….
Tim Richmond was a NASCAR Driver from the 80s decade. He was a kind of Playboy, the antithesis of the NASCAR Driver at that time. (Redneck, Conservative, a good Christian with Southern roots).
Tim was well known for being a Ladies Man, he lived in the fast lane in the racetrack and outside.
In 1987 he was diagnosed with AIDS, couldn’t start the 1987 season, spending most part of that season hospitalized, made his comeback in Pocono winning in a astonishing way by running a Car only in 4th gear and the following race at Riverside, California. That would be his final win in NASCAR.
Richmond attempted a comeback in 1988 but NASCAR suspended him for testing positive for banned substances. The substances were identified as Sudafed, a non-prescription over the counter allergy medication and Advil, an over the counter pain reliever. In April 1988, Richmond sued NASCAR due the suspension. Although he retested later that year and was reinstated, he could not find a Car to drive. In his final public appearance in February 1988, Richmond denied that he abused drugs and said that a mistake was made in his drug test. His lawsuit with NASCAR was settled out of court with the terms being sealed.
Tim wasn’t a Drug addict, he was taking those Drugs because he wanted to save his life at any cost but in the 80s the AIDS was stuck in a tabu by the society and the media.
Tim Richmond passed away at the age of 34 on August 13, 1989.
Many of you remember Tomas as the driver who replaced Luciano Burti after that heavy crash in the 2001 Belgian GP.
Tomas was the first Czech Driver in F1, he drove in the 3 final races (Italy, United States and Japan) after his short incursion in F1 he returned to the F3000 (today’s GP2) in 2002, Tomas won the Championship but he was stripped of the title due to a positive Marijuana test.
After being stripped of the title Tomas started to race around the world from racing in US (Indycar), Endurance Racing, A1GP, Blancpain Endurance Series and finally the FIA GT World Championship.
In August of 2012 it was announced that Enge had tested positive for a banned substance during the Navarra round of the GT Championship, and was suspended from racing. In August of 2012, it was announced that Enge was to be suspended from racing for 18 months.
Jeremy Mayfield was a NASCAR Driver, he never won a Championship but he was one of the most competitive Drivers in the NASCAR field during the 90s and beginning of the new century.
In 2009 Mayfield was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR for violating NASCAR’s substance abuse policy. Mayfield refuses to enter NASCAR’s rehabilitation program and has took legal actions against NASCAR. On June 9 NASCAR revealed that Mayfield tested positive for Methamphetamine in a Drug test made at May 1st, 2009.
On July 15, 2009, NASCAR stated that Mayfield had again tested positive for Methamphetamine on July 6. Mayfield still denies the use of drugs, blaming the results due the ingestion of the OTC drug: Claritin D. After that Mayfield was suspended by NASCAR indefinably until this day.
On July 7, 2012, Allmendinger was suspended from the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona after failing a random drug test hours before the race. Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR’s senior vice president for racing operations, announced that Allmendinger had 72 hours to request a “B” test sample.
On July 11, 2012, Allmendinger said to the media that a stimulant caused the positive in the drug test. The B sample test had not yet been scheduled at that time. On July 24, it was announced by NASCAR that Allmendinger was suspended indefinitely after the “B” sample tested positive for a banned stimulant, which was revealed to be amphetamines. Sending him to participate in the Road to Recovery program. On August 1, he was released from his contract by Penske Racing. Allmendinger was replaced in the No. 22 by Sam Hornish, Jr ; he later stated that the cause of the positive test was Adderall that he had unknowingly taken, being told it was an “energy pill”. Allmendinger was reinstated by NASCAR on September 18 after completing the Road to Recovery program.
Allmendinger returned to the competition on October driving a car for James Finch at Charlotte NC.