Iditarod security: ITC responds to Seavey's concerns

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) The Iditarod Trail Committee is looking at possible security improvements, according to a spokesman for the race organization.

In a phone interview Tuesday afternoon, Chas St. George, the chief operations officer for the ITC, defended the race's existing security precautions, but said additional measure are under consideration.

"We can do better, we will do better" St George said.

The response came after veteran musher Dallas Seavey called for more precautions to secure musher's dogs during and after the race. Race officials say four of Seavey's dogs tested positive for Tramadol, a banned pain killer, after the 2017 race. Seavey believes someone intentionally gave his dogs the banned substance to sabotage his team.

"After I finished the race, my team, we bedded them down" Seavey said Tuesday. "They were left unattended for four and a half five hours prior to their drug test. What happened in that time? I would love to know. I would love to see the security footage from the Nome dog yard, except for there isn't any."

St. George said dog lots are constantly monitored. "We do have a very very dedicated group of not just volunteers but staff that are continuously ensuring that there are people on the premises that are walking around ensuring the dogs are safe."

But the ITC conceded that the dog lots are not 100 percent safe, and there's room for improvement. "There's a lot of opportunity if somebody wanted to do something really nefarious and intended to try to do something they could" St. George said.

ITC says it is looking at possibly installing security cameras, but Seavey wonders why race organizers didn't consider that before now.

"We're talking about a web camera" Seavey said. "Every animal in the zoo has a web camera and we can't get that for a thousand of our sled dogs? For all the different mushers? This is very frustrating for me. I think many of the mushers share my opinions."

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