ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) Today the Iditarod Trail Committee made the announcement that it's revising rule #39 which deals with drug use.
"The revised rule has been put in place because several dogs in a single musher’s team in the 2017 Race tested positive for a prohibited substance,” stated an ITC press release Monday afternoon. “In consultation with legal counsel, the Board of Directors determined that the ITC would likely not be able to prove intent."
The trial committee says it would not release the name of the musher of involved because of the “sensitivity of the matter.”
Iditarod says the rule now holds the musher accountable for any positive test, but before changes to the rule ITC had to have proof of intent.
Rule #39 has a list of 13 banned substances examples that include anabolic steroids, muscle relaxants, tranquilizers, and opiates.
It also states, "no oral or topical drug which may suppress the signs of illness or injury may be used on a dog. No injectable may be used in dogs participating in the race. No other drugs or other artificial means may be used to drive a dog or cause a dog to perform or attempt to perform beyond its natural ability."
Mushers and their teams are drug tested before and after the race.
“Dogs are subject to the collection of urine or blood samples, at the discretion of the testing veterinarian, at any point from the pre-race examination until six hours after the team’s finish,” wrote the ITC.
For more on the Iditarod rule change click on this link.