Iditarod Board: Dallas Seavey’s dogs failed 2017 drug test

Dallas Seavey at the ceremonial start of the 2016 Iditarod. Photo: David Manning/Touch of Denali Studio

The Iditarod Trail Committee board of directors has named Dallas Seavey as the musher whose dogs tested positive for a banned substance following the 2017 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Earlier this month, Iditarod officials announced a change to the rule governing banned substances. As part of that change, they cited a then-unidentified musher who had multiple dogs test positive for a banned substance after the race ended in March.

Additional information has gradually come out in the ensuing weeks. Last week, the Iditarod identified the banned substance found in urine samples of four dogs as Tramadol, a synthetic opiate painkiller.  The name of the musher, referred to as “Musher X” in multiple statements, remained secret. The Iditarod also published a statement from Musher X last week claiming that Musher X had nothing to do with Tramadol entering the dogs’ systems.

On Monday, the Iditarod Official Finishers’ Club issued a statement demanding that the name of Musher X be made public within 72 hours. The IOFC also criticized the current state of the banned substance rule as well as what is known as the “gag order” rule, which prevents individual mushers from speaking negatively of the race, its policies, or its sponsors.

On Monday afternoon, the Iditarod Trail Committee said in a press release that Musher X is four-time race champion Dallas Seavey. The press release says the naming of Seavey was due to an “unhealthy level of speculation.”

The Alaska Dispatch News reports that Dallas Seavey has withdrawn from the 2018 Iditarod, citing mishandling of the drug test results.

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