Friday, May 27, 2011

Treatment Solutions Network Articles: NASCAR’s Drug Testing

Treatment Solutions Network Articles: NASCAR’s Drug Testing

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NASCAR’s Drug Testing

Posted: 27 May 2011 02:23 PM PDT

Even though drug abuse is common among athletes, there are some sports that are less prone to drug abuse among participants. Racing is one of those sports, thankfully. That does not mean drug abuse never finds its way in; it simply means that when drug abuse is found, it is taken care of pretty quickly.


Given the nature of racing and the danger of the sport, you won’t find many competitors who would risk their safety by doing drugs. Most people feel there is little need for performance enhancing drugs in racing because the power is in the car, not the driver. Pit crew teams and drivers often have a closeness that helps keep people from sneaking drugs. And since crews need to trust each other to ensure everyone’s safety, coming to work high would mean putting a lot of people’s lives in jeopardy.

All this does not mean that drug abuse never occurs in racing. It does. A crew member from Richard Childress Racing’s No. 31 team, Gary Frost, has been suspended for violating NASCAR’s substance abuse policy. According to a press release, substance abuse is taken very seriously. "Richard Childress has zero tolerance when an employee fails a NASCAR drug test due to an illegal substance,"  Richard Childress said in a statement. "As a result, that person's employment is terminated. It is important for our fans and our partners to know illegal drug use at RCR is simply not tolerated."

A Clean Sport

Gary Frost is certainly not the first person to be suspended from racing, but he is one of only a small number of people who have. Most people credit that fact to the swift action that is taken by NASCAR in cases like this, and the message that comes along with that action. If a driver or team member is found violating NASCAR’s drug policy, the person is usually banned from the sport. Unlike other sports where players can go through mandatory rehab, do their time, pay their fine, and then get back in, NASCAR drivers often face a complete career change if they are caught with drugs. “The responsibility here rests across the board — with the drivers and competitors, owners and teams and NASCAR,” NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said. “A positive test results in severe consequences and is a career-changing moment for that person. No system is flawless; but we believe our zero tolerant policy that is in place has served the sport well.” (2)

For anyone trying to sneak through the cracks, NASCAR enacted random drug testing in 2009. Most drivers and teams have been supportive of the drug testing because they know how important it is to everyone’s safety that competitors remain sober. Most NASCAR participants agree that drugs are unacceptable in this sport, and that attitude has helped make the sport as clean as it is today.


(1) Richard Childress NASCAR crew member suspended for substance abuse

(2) Drivers voice support for tougher drug testing policy

NASCAR Drivers Don’t Use Performance Enhancing Drugs

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