Domestic violence is a big problem in Alaska, and this year, the issue made headlines when it became a focus of the last great race.
A musher had to sit out of the Iditarod due to domestic violence charges against him. But now, musher Travis Beals could be back on the trail next March.
Beals has not yet registered for the race, though, the Iditarod Trail Committee restored him to competition Saturday morning.
Organizers indefinitely suspended Beals last April because of two domestic violence charges in 2015.
The judge dismissed one case, while Beals pled guilty to criminal mischief. Beals also completed court-ordered counseling—which cleared the way for Beals to be reinstated.
Race organizers said they might create a domestic violence policy, similar to other professional sports, however, that policy has not yet been put into place.
Mark Nordman, Iditarod Race director, says, “That committee has been ongoing, meeting and dealing with those issues, taking it very seriously, of course, but, it’s just a work in progress as always.”
Race organizers say the new policy could include background checks.
The announcement came on the same day as registration started for next year’s race.
- Iditarod bans Travis Beals entry into 2017 race, says it will review regulations
- Domestic violence cases involving mushers could mean changes to Iditarod