Driver Physicals and Substance Policy
INDYCAR drivers are among the many athletes who can sustain a head injury while participating in their chosen sport. For the health and safety of our drivers, INDYCAR has a multipronged approach to concussions.
Verizon IndyCar Series racing is an extremely demanding sport, placing significant stress loads on a driver’s mind and body. Before a driver can compete in an event, he or she must be declared physically and mentally fit for competition by league officials.
Each year, INDYCAR holds preseason physicals, including substance abuse screening, allowing medical staff to certify drivers’ fitness for participation in the series. Drivers undergo a thorough screening that includes vision and hearing exams, an EKG test, blood tests and a head-to-toe physical examination by a team of physicians and nurses.
Substance Abuce Policy
INDYCAR has had substance abuse provisions in place since 1996, and these provisions have been expanded upon over the years. The most current policy is available upon request. By this policy, INDYCAR strives to maintain the integrity of the league, its series and its events. INDYCAR is concerned that the use of illegal or performance-enhancing drugs at any time, or the use of alcohol during an event, and even the proper use of certain medications during an event, may endanger the internal and external perception of INDYCAR and motorsports.
The policy is overseen by INDYCAR, but it is administered and implemented through an independent program administrator, testing laboratories, medical review officers and substance abuse professionals. The policy is intended to apply principally to drivers, mechanics and crew members as well as to INDYCAR officials and includes scheduled and random testing. All other members are required to adhere to the policy and are subject to reasonable suspicion testing, as well as any subsequent follow-up testing that is necessary. Members are responsible for whatever goes into their bodies.
“Prohibited substances” are those that, in the program administrator’s and medical review officer’s determination in consultation with INDYCAR, may adversely affect the integrity of INDYCAR or well-being of competitors, officials or others, or the performance of a competitor or official in connection with an event. “Prohibited substances” include, but are not limited to, illegal drugs. A list of banned substances is made available to all competitors and officials. This list is available to others upon request.
Provisions prohibiting and/or restricting the consumption of alcohol are also in place. INDYCAR regulates proper and improper use of prescription and over-the-counter medications/substances. INDYCAR recognizes there are many prescription and over-the-counter medications that serve essential or beneficial purposes for the health and well-being of competitors and officials, and nothing in this policy is intended to discourage the proper use of these medications. Just as importantly, however, there are some medications that, even when properly used, may adversely affect a member’s well-being, performance or fitness to be involved in a racing event or events.
If INDYCAR determines that a competitor or official who is subject to the policy has violated any part of the policy, INDYCAR may take whatever action within its rules as it deems appropriate, including a ban from competition and participation in INDYCAR activities and events.