Race Journal Online est. October 4, 2006"I believe anybody who tells you he is unbiased is a liar. Being human gives you bias, and you can't avoid that. The best you can ever hope to be is fair." -David Poole
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By now you've probably read that AJ has decided (following the advice of Jeff Gordon) to tell the truth.
That alone is unsettling. How many weeks has it been since Daytona, and he's only NOW been persuaded to be honest? For the past month, he's been acting like a wrongly-accused, health-conscious, innocent guy who is reportedly "gathering everything in his possession" to have toxicology reports run to find out what could have caused this.
He's got his mouthpiece Tara Ragan pleading his case on TV and in other media, claiming they have no idea what could have given this result in a drug test.
And, whaddaya know... it was all untrue.
Now something you may not know about me is that I have a vice myself, if you can call it that. Daily I use my DVR to record People's Court. Yeah, I know. But there are things you can learn about people and the law, and one thing I've learned is that if someone lies once, his whole testimony is now suspect.
If he lied then, is he lying now? And if he says what he's saying now with conviction, how can you dismiss the conviction with which he told the first lies?
In other words, I'm not sure I'm buying this new story of what happened. AJ Allmendinger's testimony is no longer credible as far as I'm concerned.
In his own words, it goes like this:
He'd met up with a friend in Kentucky earlier in the week. "We were out early evening. I hadn’t been sleeping well — all season, really with the way things had been going, obviously, the expectations and everything like that."
He continues, "We were out, he had a couple of his friends with him and I was struggling to even stay awake. One of his friends said, ‘Oh, I have an energy pill that I take for working out.’"
He's having trouble sleeping all season, and yet he's tired at night, and he takes an "energy pill"? Ask yourself why anyone who's been having trouble sleeping, and finds himself unable to stay awake at night, wouldn't just GO TO BED. Instead, his solution is to take an energy pill to stay awake?
If something doesn't make sense, it's usually not true.
Next on the list of suspicious statements is that when NASCAR told him it was amphetamine, "I didn't even know what that was. I asked, 'Is that bad? Is that a big deal?'"
Really? You're a health-conscious guy who takes supplements and you don't know what amphetamines are? Okay, let's say you're not health-conscious and you don't work out or take supplements. Surely you've heard the name JEREMY MAYFIELD, right?
Claiming he doesn't even know what amphetamines are, and he had to ask if that was bad... Again, AJ, I'm not buying it. Your innocent routine is lost on me, and frankly, I resent that you think we're all so stupid.
As his story continues, he talks about all the pressure he was under, and how bad his season had been. He cites the heavy expectations; "The pressure to perform and things being out of my control..."
Have you ever heard an addict explain how they got into that boat to begin with? It usually sounds a little like, "The pressure to perform and things being out of my control..."
Again, I'm skeptical.
Then I wonder, what are the odds? What are the odds that he took ONE pill (that we're to believe he accepted basically from a stranger, and without knowing what it was) and that very week, just three days later, he was tested?
The way it reads to me is not unlike any other person who gets caught. Whether it's using drugs, having an affair, stealing from a department store... "It only happened the one time." Right.
It only happened the one time because you know that's all we can prove. But really, what are the odds that the one single solitary time AJ Allmendinger took amphetamines, he just happened to get caught?
Amphetamines will stay in your system for 1-3 days. Friday afternoon is when AJ found out he was to be tested, and he claims it was early evening Tuesday when he took the Adderall. Oh, what are the odds?
From the stories of Tara Ragan ("We still don't know what it was") to the fake innocent act of AJ Allmendinger, I'm afraid my sympathy is all run out on this one.
People's Court????? SMDH. Explains a lot about the holes in most of your theories
Carol, I agree.
AJ claims to be health conscious, but yet he is taking a mystery pill from a friend??
This story is just too predictable.
What's Judge Judy got to do with it, is that who Nascar has hired????
What's Judge Judy got to do with it? You're a fine one to ask that question after the big long comment you left on the FB RJO page, citing Judge Judy as the judge on People's Court. LOL
But aside from that, I know exactly what Pitstop means by it, and it made me smile.
Yep, sounds more like PR spin when a person gets caught than a confession.
I don't have anything against AJ and I hope he lands on his feet but I can't buy into the explanation as it is presented.
Does this mean that teams should not pursue Adderall as a potential sponsor?
Is AJ a scumbag, or does he have some underlying mental health condition, or is something else going on, or is there a combination of any of the these? Regardless, rather than taking a pill, shoving and cursing a reporter would have been a more socially acceptable means of dealing with stress.
You don't believe that the one time he took a drug was right before he was tested? Come on, don't you remember how Randy LaJoie only smoked marijuana one time (a friend gave it to him) just before he was tested (with advance warning) to become a spotter?
I'm sorry. Holes in his story do not make him an addict either. I know what God says about judging others & I try to live by that. If I am wrong, then that person will be dealt with by the proper authority, which is not me, not NASCAR, & not the media. Just my opinion.
Carol, you were convinced that energy drinks were the culprit here and were ready to petition NASCAR to ban them all together. I find it amusing how you can so easily change your verdict as the facts become clearer, without ever acknowledging your incorrect assumptions.
The holes in AJ's story were obvious from day 1. Too many squeaky clean 'I have no idea what it could possibly be' lines from Tara Ragan. First thing he needs to do is get rid of her for her complete incompetance in handling the PR side of this. Then issue a public statement where he truthfully acknowledges the events that led to his positive test. It's the only way he has a chance of getting back.
I'm not saying its 'impossible' that he only took it once. I just dont believe that's the case. Too many coincidences lined up in a row, combined with PR people and their ever evolving story spinner makes me pay very close attention.
So now that we now that Reb Bull didn't almost kill Brian Vickers, and Fuel in a Bottle didn't cause AJ to have amphetemines in his system. I think I'll have an AMP as my Municipal Government Employee drug screening is Friday LOL!
Finally we hear from someone besides an AJ apologist.
A very well thought out and written article.
As you said...I resent that AJ and his people think that we're that stupid!
Overall I agree with your philosophy (even though I personally don't practice the "judge not lest you be judged" principle). However, while I do not think AJ is an addict, I do think he is full of crap using the "it was the first time" excuse. It might be, but everyone uses that line so it becomes very hard to believe. Watch Dateline sometime and every pedophile says it's their first time of actually meeting up with a 13 year old girl.
every pedophile says it's their first time of actually meeting up with a 13 year old girl.
So true... but they are not under random testing either. If AJ was an addict then there is not a snow balls chance in a warm place that he would have passed any random drug tests.
I'm far more inclined to believe this was a one time act of stupidity than that he is any kind of an addict. The fact that he took one pill and forgot about it, yeah I can believe that. If he didn't think there was anything wrong with it why would he remember it? Get's his memorey jogged when he finds out what it was ... Oh yeah Damn I migh have done something stupid.
We're always so quick to throw people under the bus for something they did, but people do make mistakes, and sometimes some pretty big and stupid ones. That could be the case here and he did honestly forget.
I agreed that AJ was probably not an addict but unless he regularly accepts unknown pills from friends he damn well would have remembered taking that pill. It should have been the first thing he suspected and probably was but instead he pleaded dumbfoundedness.
Also, if drug tests are administered on Fridays and Adderall metabolizes out of the body in three days, he COULD have very well used them more than once and not been caught. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't but everyone that gets caught says it's the first time.
I personally don't think it's a big deal on the grand scheme of things... Wow, someone took a prescription drug that wasn't prescribed. What a shocker. Nobody does that. (sarcasm heavily intended). Still, for AJ the price is very high in a sponsor driven sport. I think a lot of fans can see past this but sponsors won't. Even if only 20% of fans think this is a big deal why should a sponsor settle for AJ when they can find someone with equal credentials that doesn't have the baggage.
@ Bill B:
I tend to agree with you. All the competitors have to sign that they've read and understood the drug policy, all of them get tested frequently. To say "what is amphetamine, is that bad?" just doesn't fly. To not be suspicious of random pills offered by your friends just doesn't fly.
Very disappointing, but I can't say that stupidity didn't get it's just reward this time.
So, changing the subject slightly, who do we prefer for that ride next year? Hornish or Logano?
I don't know that anyone is calling AJ an addict. AJ put the statement out there... he opened it up to be discussed... judged, whatever you want to call it.
@ Bill B
What concerns me the most is that AJ evidently felt comfortable taking a mystery pill from a friend.
The "I made a mistake" is so overused and is such an easy cop out. A mistake is.. two ink pens on a table... you wanted the black one, but not paying attention you accidently picked up the blue one.
The bottom line is AJ did not make a mistake... he willing took a pill that was offered to him... without knowing what it was. This was no mistake or accident... it was a choice... a bad one that cost him his job. I honestly get tired of people falling back on "the mistake" excuse.
There is really no way to know whether AJ is an addict or not... he does not appear to be one.... but one thing is for certain, his decision making skills are very questionable.
I think AJ knew what it was after the A sample test and that's when he told Roger P. Roger's statement was that he was disappointed by the A sample results. Not once did he say that they would get to the bottom of it, etc like AJ and his handlers did.
I too, can't believe that AJ didn't know what amphetamines were. Really, in this day and age? Good grief.
You're correct that I had initially placed blame on the energy drink sponsor because at that time, I had fallen for AJ's innocent story. With the track record of energy drinks (that I think you deny but I quite believe to have negative health consequences), that was my first suspsicion.
Does this new revelation convince me that energy drinks are safe? No, it doesn't.
And just because AJ didn't test positive for a hundred other things that are unhealthy doesn't mean they are suddenly on the list of healthy foods either.
There are not two mutually exclusive lists: "That for which AJ tested positive on his drug test" and "Things which are healthy."
I didn't say he made a mistake. I said I thought it was a one time act of stupidity.
I may have used a bad cice of wording in my last paragraph, but I did mean stupidity.
Carol, I'm not sure what there is to debate over energy drinks. I don't see alot of evidence piling up in the sports or medical community suggesting that these products are contributing to any adverse health issues, or causing any athletes to fail drug tests, or perform better or worse at their chosen sport.
I would compare an energy drink to any other consumable product. If you drink or eat too much of it, it may not be good for you. For example, drinking too much coca-cola could destroy your teeth and your stomach lining.
I would suspect that most, if not all carbonated energy drinks would fall into that same category. Until I see some evidence showing a pattern of problems for any athletes, or for any average everyday people for that matter, I refuse to condemn the product.
They can't be any worse, health wise, than SEE'S candies or Davids Cookies
I posted this on Reddit the other day. I'll copy it here, because I'm in a hurry, and because it still clearly states my position on the issue:
A few weeks ago, Jason Kidd, a basketball player of some repute, was busted for DWI after a rather spectacular automobile accident. The next morning, one of the newscasters up here opined: "He has unlimited resources. He could get anyone in the world to drive him." In effect, Jason Kidd was a victim of his own stupidity.
The same thing goes for A.J. Allmendinger. He's a millionaire race car driver. He can easily hire a personal trainer or some such to watch his workouts and make sure that only substances that are cleared by NASCAR go into his body. Instead, he took a pill he didn't know, from a person that he didn't know. No matter how you slice it, that's just stupid.
We have enough stupid people in NASCAR already. Until Allmendinger grows a brain, we don't need him.
As I posted a couple of weeks ago, AJ knew damn well what he put in his body. All the professional athletes that are subject to drug testing do.
Yea, a supplement from a friend. Please don't insult my intelligence with that story. AJ you tired to get over on the system but lost. Hope it was worth it. Lost you million dollar salary/year, your reputation in NASCAR and the trust of the other drivers.
Maybe you might contact Tyler Walker and see how the WOO is doing and who might have a ride open.
I completely agree with giluvracing's #22 comment.
If it happened as AJ said it did (which really, is the excuse most folks use when caught,) then it is his fault for taking a pill without knowing what it was.
What I would like to know:
-I know that EVERYONE is tested pre-Daytona, but was this the first drug test since then for AJ?
-What, if any, are the benefits for taking Adderal early in a race week? Is there any kind of on track benefit? if it's out of your system so quick, the benefits must be gone quick too?
-Why on earth would he just start popping pills from friends????
I have a commercial drivers license for work and thus, I get randomly drug tested. Since our drawing pool is small, I get pulled at 3 or 4 times a year.
There is NO way I am gonna jeopardize my measly paycheck (hope my boss don't see that!) at the advice of a friend- no matter what the pill is. I need to know for sure what it is, and most of the time will go buy the equivalent myself instead of taking theirs. It's just not worth it.
In this case- I want to believe AJ just did something stupid instead of being an addict. Of course, I wanted to believe that about Jeremy too...
If he wanted to get away with it he could have dome what Lance Armstrong did since he showed how you can cheat and it take so long to get caught.
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When I was a little girl, growing up in Southern California, my grandma would come visit from Indiana for three months a year to get away from the Indiana winters. Oh, the stories I could tell and the memories I have of Grandma's annual visits. But one of my fondest memories is of Grandma's penchant for See's Candy. There are few stores outside of the west coast, so I remember going to the candy store to order something special with my mom, to be shipped to Indiana. Whether it was Mother's Day, Grandma's birthday, or if it had just been awhile, my mom would kindly send candy to her mother-in-law half way across the country.
When she came to visit, there'd be a box waiting for her in the top drawer of the dresser in the spare room where she'd stay, and very rarely, she'd share a piece with me. I think the rarity of the occasion made it all the more special.
It wasn't until I moved to Nebraska that I really missed seeing See's Candy stores. Nuts & Chews. That was the special mix we'd always get in the box. And the square lollypops? There's nothing like them anywhere else. Caramel and chocolate and vanilla. If you've never had See's Candy, you should try a box. I promise you'll be glad you did. I recommend the Nuts & Chews, of course, so that's the picture I've posted for you. Click it and you'll see more. Great for gifts, but even better to order your own box. And if you hide it in the top dresser drawer, I won't tell anyone where it is. -Carol