Borland suspended for Bogus substance abuse (Update)

Matt Borland for drinking diet coffee.
Matt Borland suspended for drinking diet coffee. Only in NASCAR.

UPDATE NASCAR on Tuesday lifted the suspension of crew chief Matt Borland, who has successfully completed NASCAR’s Road to Recovery Program after a violation of the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy.

NASCAR announced Aug. 26 that Borland had been suspended indefinitely. The Germain Racing crew chief was required to complete the Road to Recovery Program before reinstatement and receiving clearance to resume competition.

Borland has been atop the pit box for 340 Monster Energy Series races. He has 13 career wins, including eight in a single season with Ryan Newman back in 2003. He’s called the shots for Ty Dillon and the No. 13 team since 2018.

Upon announcement of his suspension last month, Borland said in a statement released by the team that he was notified of a positive test for the banned substance DMAA (2-amino-5-methylhexanamine). He and team owner Bob Germain Jr. said a derivative of the substance was an ingredient in a diet coffee that he had been using regularly for the last six months.

“I gave the doctor all of the details of the coffee and ingredients, and after he researched it, he said he thought that this was the cause," Borland said at the time. “Even after doing my due diligence, I felt comfortable in drinking the coffee. I plan to work with NASCAR to figure out what exactly has happened and resolve this issue as quickly as we can. I will cooperate with them and do whatever is requested of me to make this situation right.

“I have worked in the NASCAR garage for 20 years now and have never been a part of anything like this in my life. I take full responsibility for this incident and want to get it taken care of completely."

Diet coffee NASCAR? Talk about getting egg all over your face!
Diet coffee NASCAR? Talk about getting egg all over your face!

08/26/19 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series crew chief Matt Borland has been suspended indefinitely from NASCAR competition as a result of failing a drug test. The crew chief on the #13 Germain Racing team of Ty Dillon attributed the failure to an incredient in a diet coffee had had been drinking for the last six months.

"This past weekend, I was informed by a NASCAR doctor that I had DMAA [2-amino-5-methylhexanamine] in my system," Borland said. “After the surprise of this and not even knowing what that was, I asked if it could have come from a diet coffee I have been drinking for the past six months.

"I gave the doctor all of the details of the coffee and ingredients, and after he researched it, he said he thought that this was the cause. Even after doing my due-diligence, I felt comfortable in drinking the coffee. I plan to work with NASCAR to figure out what exactly has happened and resolve this issue as quickly as we can. I will cooperate with them and do whatever is requested of me to make this situation right. I have worked in the NASCAR garage for 20 years now and have never been a part of anything like this in my life.

"I take full responsibility for this incident and want to get it taken care of completely. I would like to sincerely apologize to my team, sponsors, associates, NASCAR and my family and I look forward to resolving this situation in an efficient manner."

Borland's suspension comes approximately a week after that of Bayley Currey, who competes part-time as a driver in all three of NASCAR's national series, for a similar substance, DMHA. Currey attributed his failed drug test to an ingredient in a workout supplement he had been taking.

Germain Racing has announced Justin Alexander will be Dillon's interim crew chief, beginning with the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Sept. 1. The Cup Series did not hold a race this past weekend.

“Matt Borland has informed me that he was notified by NASCAR that a random urinalysis showed a substance, DMAA, that is impermissible under the NASCAR substance abuse policy," Germain Racing owner Bob Germain said. "We reviewed the ingredients label on a coffee product that Matt had been drinking and it includes DMHA, a derivative of DMAA.

"Based upon the ingredients label, we do not believe that Matt had reason to know that the coffee contained a banned substance. However, we also understand and respect NASCAR’s decisions to strictly uphold their policies for each and every owner, driver and crew member in the garage. As an organization, we stand behind Matt. He has been and remains an integral part of our race team and we look forward to his return to the garage and pit box."

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