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Allmendinger suspended over failed drugs test

Penske Racing's AJ Allmendinger has been temporarily suspended from NASCAR Sprint Cup competition after allegedly failing a random drugs test.
NASCAR Sprint Cup driver AJ Allmendinger has been temporarily suspended from competition, after he was reported to have failed a random drugs test that was carried out last weekend at Kentucky Speedway.

The official notice from NASCAR stated that Allmendinger's 'A' sample had tested positive for a banned substance and that he was suspended from NASCAR competition with immediate effect.

Steve O'Donnell, NASCAR's senior vice president for racing operations, made the press announcement to the media in Daytona but would not be drawn on elaborating or giving any further details.

"NASCAR will follow its policies and procedures set forth in the rule book in dealing with this matter," said O'Donnell.

It's not known what substance the 'A' sample has reported positive for. Allmendinger was previously arrested by police for drunk driving in October 2009, but he did not miss any NASCAR races over the charge. However, commentators have pointed out that this latest test would not normally be used to identify alcohol levels and that it would therefore likely be a different type of substance that had been detected. NASCAR has a long list of prohibited substances for competitors, including some otherwise legal prescription medications.

Allmendinger can request in the next 72 hours that the 'B' sample drawn at the same time as the 'A' sample is tested, in order to ensure that the first sample has not become contaminated. If that sample also tests positive, or if Allmendinger does not request that the 'B' sample be tested, that Allmendinger's suspension would become indefinite under NASCAR's Substance Abuse Policy.

In that event, and if the alleged presence of drugs was thereby confirmed, Allmendinger would need to undergo a mandatory rehabilitation program before he would be allowed to compete in NASCAR again, a process that could take several months.

Allmendinger had been scheduled to drive in Saturday night's Coke Zero 400 race at Daytona International Speedway in the Penske Racing #22 car and had qualified in ninth place on the grid. As a result of the suspension, the team had to urgently fly in Sam Hornish Jr. to take over the car for the race.

Hornish had already returned home to his home in North Carolina after competing in last night's Nationwide Series race for the team, and was undertaking media interviews when the urgent call came through for him to get back to Daytona as soon as possible. He arrived just minutes before the cars started rolling off pit road.

Penske Racing was not taking calls about the suspension, but did release a team statement in which they said: "NASCAR notified Penske Racing this afternoon that AJ Allmendinger was administered a drug test earlier this week, and those results tested positive.




Related Pictures

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#22 Penske Racing crew chief Todd Gordon talks with driver AJ Allmendinger during NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying on Saturday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. (Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger celebrates his second career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole Award on Saturday at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan. (Photo Credit: Tyler Barrick/Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger at New Hampshire. [Photo credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR]
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #22 Shell/Pennzoil Dodge, looks on in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 2012 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, Trevor Bayne, driver of the #21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center Ford, Justin Allgaier, driver of the #51 Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, and Michael Annett, driver of the #7 Allstate Peterbilt/Pilot Chevrolet, are involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Sam Hornish Jr., driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, leads the field at the start of the Nationwide Childrens`s Hospital 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 16, 2014 in Lexington, Ohio.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Scott Products Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 10, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Scott Products Chevrolet SS, celebrates his first Sprint Cup win Sunday, August 10, 2014 in the Cheez-It 355 race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Scott Products Chevrolet SS, celebrates his win Sunday, August 10, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York.  (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Scott Products Chevrolet SS, celebrates his first Sprint Cup win Sunday, August 10, 2014 in the Cheez-It 355 race at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, New York. (Photo by Christa L. Thomas/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger celebrates with the chequered flag at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger celebrates in victory lane at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger and Marcos Ambrose lead the field to a restart at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger leads Marcos Ambrose at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger celebrates with a burnout after winning at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger takes the chequered flag to win at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger celebrates in victory lane at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
AJ Allmendinger celebrates in victory lane at Watkins Glen International on Sunday, August 10 2014. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

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