Bill Diehl, the attorney for suspended driver Jeremy Mayfield, was on "Sirius Speedway" on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio with host Dave Moody on Wednesday. The quote I love most is when he's asked if he could reveal what substance Mayfield is accused of taking, Diehl responds -- "I could tell you. I'm not." -- What? Are we in elementary school?
I don't quite understand the secrecy from NASCAR's standpoint. If it is confident of the test results, then it has nothing to hide. Making it a secret is just adding to the circus. It's playing right into Mayfield hands because he keeps feeding the beast, trying to get public sentiment on his side.
Host, Dave Moody: "Has there been at this point and will there be a lawsuit filed in this matter?"
Bill Diehl: "First question, no lawsuit has been filed. Will there be a lawsuit? That will depend on what happens between Jeremy and NASCAR which ought to be known in the next couple of days."
Moody: "What kind of conversations are being had between Jeremy and yourself and NASCAR and their representatives right now to try and settle this?"
Diehl: "The conversations I'm having with Jeremy I'm not going to tell you about. The conversations I'm having with the NASCAR lawyer with whom I've been dealing I'm not going to talk about. But they're obviously focused on whether or not Jeremy was suspended properly. Is what happened to him legitimate and should he stay suspended? Should he have to go through some type of rehabilitation, if you will, that they've asked for? So those issues are what we're talking about. Should that happen? Or, the alternative is, has he been mistreated and have they improperly deprived him of a way to make a living? There are some side issues. They've said a lot of unpleasant things about him that Jeremy doesn't believe are true. There's a separate remedy for that kind of behavior."
Moody: "Specifically what has been said about him?"
Diehl: "I haven't heard it directly so what I'm telling you is what's been published. I read a report where Mr. France gratuitously announced that the serious recreational drug use by Mr. Mayfield was very difficult, very bad and they weren't going to tolerate it. Accusing somebody that's driving a race car a couple hundred miles an hour of serious recreational drug use, that's probably not too good thing to say about him. Especially if it's not true."
Moody: "Can you tell us what specific substance has NASCAR accused Jeremy of having in his system?"
Diehl: "I could tell you. I'm not. But we do have two reports that they furnished me yesterday and then they just sent me one a couple hours ago that they hadn't furnished. So we've got two reports but I'm not going to talk about them yet. If we get in a situation where we've got to talk about them then we'll talk about them. But I'm not going to talk about them today."
Moody: "Do the two reports come to the same conclusion? Do they name the same chemical substance?"
Diehl: "I'm not going to talk about what the reports say except to tell you I have them. And then you've already been told or I've read lots of stuff that indicate what the NASCAR reps have said and what this guy, [drug test administrator Dr. David] Black, has said. The game about what is in the report is probably just that at this point. It's a game but I'm not going to participate in that game currently beyond saying that they finally furnished us two reports which they probably should have given to Mr. Mayfield long before this week."
Moody: "Jeremy has said from the start of this that this all boils down to a prescription medication that's been prescribed by a doctor for his allergies combined with a couple of Claritin D tablets that he took on the day in question in Richmond. Can you tell me what the prescription medicine that he is taking was?"
Diehl: "No, I won't reveal that yet but again that's something that he's told NASCAR. They know what it was and they've gotten the information from the doctor. They're dealing with everything Jeremy could have furnished them about anything that he'd taken, according to Jeremy. He did take a prescription drug and he does have a medical doctor who prescribed it and they have that data and they had the information about the Claritin D."
Moody: "What would it take at this point to avoid taking this to the court system? What would have to happen here in the next few days to avoid a lawsuit?"
Diehl: "Some type of acknowledgement that what happened was a mistake on the part of somebody in connection with what they did and how they did it. We're exploring that with them. We can't put Humpty Dumpty back together again. They've said it. They've suspended him. We know there are a couple of reports because we now see them. Somebody is going to have to come forward and acknowledge that, well, we thought we did what we were supposed to do, maybe we made a mistake, let's try it again."
Moody: "What's Jeremy's frame of mind and attitude right now?"
Diehl: "I think he's very upset and he's insulted. He's had a 17 year career, had some successes. He's just getting started with his own team, and this sort of takes you out at the knees if you're suddenly accused of being a recreational drug user and you're suspended from doing what you get paid to do. So, he's upset. He's trying to keep a handle on it, I think. Hopefully he's listening to what I tell him to do. He wants everybody to know that he's not guilty of what he's accused of."
Show personality, Suzie Armstrong: "How soon did he contact you after he was notified by NASCAR about this?"
Diehl: "I don't remember the date. When I knew about it I think I was watching the race from Darlington on television and it came on that he'd been suspended. And that occurred, if my memory was right - I'm not looking at a calendar - May the 9th, a Saturday. And then he called me the next week when I got back in town."
Moody: "Is there any unofficial timeline at this point for you to decide whether or not this takes the next step into the legal system?"
Diehl: "Yes, there is but I'm not going to tell you what it is."