ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Latest on the Iditarod doping case (all times local):
Iditarod officials identified four-time champion Dallas Seavey as the musher whose dogs tested positive for a banned substance.
The Iditarod Trail Committee met Monday in an emergency session and decided to release the musher’s identity after initially refusing on a lawyer’s advice.
The committee in a statement said it changed its decision due to the “level of unhealthy speculation involved in this matter.”
Officials say four dogs in Seavey’s team tested positive after the finish of this year’s race in Nome in March. The banned substance was an opioid pain reliever.
Calls to Seavey’s cellphone weren’t immediately returned.
Organizers of Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race are again defending their decision to withhold the identity of a competitor who had several dogs test positive for a prohibited drug in this year’s race.
Officials say in a statement that they were not satisfied they could prove intent on the musher’s part. So they modified a rule dealing with canine drug use that will go into effect for next year’s race.
Race organizers say their statement was sent Sunday to the Iditarod Official Finishers Club of current and past race mushers.
The club on Monday called on the musher to be named within 72 hours, saying 83 current and former competitors signed a statement making the demand.
Iditarod officials did not directly address the mushers’ demand.
Race officials said last week that several dogs had an opioid pain reliever in their systems after one musher’s sled dog team finished the race in March.
Scores of mushers are demanding that organizers of Alaska’s Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race identify a competitor who had several dogs test positive for a prohibited drug in this year’s race.
The Iditarod Official Finishers Club released a statement Monday signed by 83 current and former competitors who are calling for the musher to be named within 72 hours.
The demand came after the group held an emergency meeting Sunday to discuss how organizers of the nearly 1,000-mile race handled its first instance of dogs testing positive for a banned drug.
Race officials didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment Monday. They said last week that several dogs had an opioid pain reliever in their systems after the team finished the race in March.
Officials have refused to identify the musher.