Monday, 19 February, 2018

Iditarod committee says Dallas Seavey's sled dogs failed drug test

Dallas Seavey named as musher whose dogs failed drug tests Officials Identify Musher In Dog Doping Case
Ellis Copeland | 24 October, 2017, 21:01

The Iditarod Trail Committee today revealed four-time champion Dallas Seavey as the musher behind four dogs who tested positive for illegal opioids during this year's race.

The Iditarod Trail Committee met Monday in an emergency session and made a decision to release the musher's identity after initially refusing on a lawyer's advice. Seavey was informed in April, and the committee said in a statement that after lengthy discussions with vets, race officials and Seavey, the board decided it could not prove intent.

On social media, Seavey wrote that he has withdrawn from the 2018 Iditarod race, and in a video posted online denied intentionally doping his team.

"ITC anticipates that the new version of Rule 39 will offer certainty to the race and mushers concerning standards and obligations", the committee's press release said.

Officials say four dogs in Seavey's team tested positive after the finish of this year's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Nome in March.

It is the first time dogs have allegedly been found to be using a prohibited substance since testing in the race began in 1994. I will not spend the rest of my life looking in the mirror knowing that I backed down when I did nothing wrong.

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"I believe this was given to my dogs maliciously", he said.

After Seavey's dogs tested positive for the drug, the ITC revised the race rule dealing with canine drugs.

Before the new ruling, canine drug use rule could also be interpreted to require that race officials provide proof that a musher meant to administer the prohibited substance, KIRO7 reported. In the video, he said he fully expects to be banned. The testing officials estimated the dogs received the banned substance "somewhere between 15 hours prior to, and up until" being tested after the race.

Mr Seavey, 30, issued a defiant statement, claiming that someone else had tampered with the feed for his dogs, and accused the Iditarod oversight board of "appalling" security failures at kennels along the race trail.

Dallas Seavey is a former Alaska high school wrestling champion and also spent a year at the U.S. Olympic Training Center before turning his attention back to dogs. "I have never given any banned substance to my dogs". "Previously, the rule could be interpreted so that race officials would need to prove the doping was intentional, AP says".

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