Tuesday, July 28, 2009
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NASCAR says Mayfield lied to federal court

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[July 28, 2009]  CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- NASCAR accused Jeremy Mayfield of lying to a federal court about the chronology of a second random drug test, offering to provide an audio tape of the conversation in which Mayfield was told to submit a sample. The driver says the telephone call went to voicemail.

The accusation came Monday in court filings that ask U.S. District Court Judge Graham Mullen to lift the July 1 injunction he granted Mayfield so he could return to racing.

NASCAR disputed the sworn testimony Mayfield provided to U.S. District Court last week, including the assertion that a July 6 request for a second drug test went to his voicemail at 1:18 p.m. He said he didn't get the message until about 40 minutes later, making it difficult for him to meet the two-hour deadline to report for testing.

NASCAR provided a transcript of the actual conversation between Mayfield and Regina Sweeney, an employee of Aegis Sciences Corp., which runs NASCAR's drug-testing program. NASCAR said it would provide the recording upon request.


"I'm calling on behalf of NASCAR who has requested that you take a drug test today within the next two hours ... and I was going to help find you a location that you could go to based upon where you are right now," Sweeney said in the transcript.

"Right, well I'm gonna have to -- let me talk to my attorney first. ... So, and I'll get back with you," Mayfield is quoted as replying.

According to Mayfield's affidavit from last week, he was in a meeting and did not receive the message until 2 p.m. and it was 2:44 p.m. when he was finally told what laboratory to go to -- making it impossible for him to meet the testing deadline.

"Mayfield appears to have completely "forgotten" that he had a live conversation with Ms. Sweeney ... in which she advised him he could go to a testing place ... the address of which Mayfield did not take down because he wanted to talk to his attorney first," the filing said.

NASCAR also accused Mayfield of lying when he told the court he was instructed to return to his home at 5 p.m., where he waited almost three hours for NASCAR representatives to collect a sample.

"This account is contradicted by Mayfield's counsel, who claimed that at 5:32 p.m., Mayfield was still driving around Concord, looking for the testing location," the filing said. NASCAR submitted e-mail exchanges between Mayfield attorney John Buric and its counsel to contradict Mayfield's claims.

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Buric did not immediately return a request for comment.

Mayfield was suspended May 9 for failing a random drug test taken eight days earlier for what NASCAR has said was a positive test for methamphetamines. The driver sued, and Mullen lifted the suspension based on the argument that NASCAR's testing system is flawed.

NASCAR has asked Mullen to reverse the injunction based on new evidence -- the failed July 6 test, and sworn testimony from Mayfield's estranged stepmother that she witnessed him using meth at least 30 times over the years.

An appeals court last week issued a ruling that put Mayfield back under suspension, but the request to reverse the injunction is one of the unresolved legal challenges before Mullen.

NASCAR's filing Monday also contends that in addition to the eyewitness account from Lisa Mayfield, it has several other witnesses willing to testify about Mayfield's methamphetamine use if subpoenaed.

"Mayfield has apparently contacted at least one witness to convince the witness that despite her recollection, he never used drugs," the filing said.

[Associated Press; By JENNA FRYER]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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