ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - UPDATE: DALLAS SEAVEY RESPONDS TO IDITAROD ALLEGATIONS
Dallas Seavey says he did nothing wrong and has never knowingly broken any Iditarod rule and feels compelled to speak out following allegations by the Iditarod Trail Committee Monday. Seavey says he expects the ITC may also ban him from the race for the next 10 years due to the so-called "gag rule" which prohibits mushers from speaking out publicly in a negative way against the race or its sponsors. Seavey says he felt he had no other choice. See what he had to say to the board and his fans, a message he posted to YouTube Monday afternoon.
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The Iditarod Trail Committee on Monday announced that Dallas Seavey is the Musher whose dog team tested positive for an opioid pain reliever after completing the Iditarod in 2017.
ITC announced two weeks ago that a top 20 finisher's dog team had tested positive for Tramadol in Nome, but the committee declined to name the musher invovled.
"However, because of the level of unhealthy speculation involved in this matter, ITC has now decided to disclose the name of the musher involved," ITC wrote in a press release Monday. "The musher is Dallas Seavey."
This is a developing story. Check back for updates
The mushing world saw an unprecedented scandal after one musher's dog team tested positive for a prohibited opioid pain reliever called Tramadol. Now, a group close to the race is demanding that the musher in questioned be identified.
In a letter issued Monday, the Iditarod Official Finishers Club, or IOFC, say that the investigation into the accused musher was mishandled by the Iditarod Trail Committee, or ITC.
The ITC said previously that it would not name the accused musher after they consulted with their legal team and determined they would be unable "to prove intent" on the musher's part. They also said that there will be no disciplinary action against the musher.
The musher identified themselves only as Musher X in an anonymous letter submitted to the public, penned in part to defend themselves against the doping charges. In the letter, Musher X claims that officials told them that the drugs were administered to the dogs after the race was over. Race officials have not verified any claims made by Musher X.
In the IOFC's letter, they say that, in addition to demanding the release of Musher X's name within 72 hours, they want to see "complete transparency" with the issue as it progresses.
"It is unacceptable that multiple dogs tested positive for a drug in a single musher’s team and that that information was only recently made public when it was known since shortly after the team finished," the letter states.
While the identity of Musher X is not officially known, only the top 20 finishers of the Iditarod race are tested for drugs following the completion of the race. The letter issued by IOFC was signed by a collection of well-known mushers and previous Iditarod champions, including 2017's winner Mitch Seavey.
The full list of mushers, as well as the letter itself, can be viewed below in its entirety.
This is a developing story and will be updated.