Iditarod defends decision in dog doping case
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ Organizers of Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race are again defending their decision to withhold the identity of a competitor who had several dogs test positive for a prohibited drug in this year’s race.
Officials say in a statement that they were not satisfied they could prove intent on the musher’s part. So they modified a rule dealing with canine drug use that will go into effect for next year’s race.
Race organizers say their statement was sent Sunday to the Iditarod Official Finishers Club of current and past race mushers.
The club on Monday called on the musher to be named within 72 hours, saying 83 current and former competitors signed a statement making the demand.
Iditarod officials did not directly address the mushers’ demand.
Race officials said last week that several dogs had an opioid pain reliever in their systems after one musher’s sled dog team finished the race in March.
Scores of mushers are demanding that organizers of Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race identify a competitor who had several dogs test positive for a prohibited drug in this year’s race.
The Iditarod Official Finishers Club released a statement Monday signed by 83 current and former competitors who are calling for the musher to be named within 72 hours.
The demand came after the group held an emergency meeting Sunday to discuss how organizers of the nearly 1,000-mile race handled its first instance of dogs testing positive for a baned drug.
Race officials didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment Monday. They said last week that several dogs had an opioid pain reliever in their systems after the team finished the race in March.
Officials have refused to identify the musher.