ITC 'reprimands' Dr. Craig for comments to Marrs
The Iditarod Trail Committee says they've determined the conversation that Dr. Morrie Craig had with musher Wade Marrs moments before the start of Iditarod XLVI was a breach of protocol and has decided to reprimand the doctor.
Wade Marrs' camp issued a statement last Tuesday stating that Dr. Craig, the ITC's chief of drug testing, approached him shortly before the restart in Willow and made an attempt to intimidate the musher. They also asked that action be taken against Dr. Craig.
In a statement Monday, the ITC Board of Directors said they've decided to "formally reprimand" Dr. Craig, though they said there were differing accounts of the exact nature and perceived intent of the conversation. Ultimately, the ITC Board determined the conversation was "at best ill-timed, and a breach of protocol on Dr. Craig's part."
The ITC Board statement reads, in part:
Dr. Craig’s role as Chief of Drug Testing is to analyze, interpret and report laboratory findings to the board of directors, not to third parties, unless specifically authorized to do so.
The ITC sincerely appreciates the expertise Dr. Craig has brought to the race in developing a credible drug testing program. However, he has been made aware that any further actions on his part deemed detrimental to the success of the program will result in additional disciplinary action up to and including termination of services.
Craig is accused of telling Marrs that "his team's urine contained trace amounts of a prohibited substance" in a 2017 test. The Marrs camp told KTVA Sports they believed Craig's approach was a direct threat to counteract Marrs' silence during the Iditarod Official Finishers Club meeting in Nome following the race.
Craig told KTVA Sports last week that a second team did test positive for a banned substance following the 2017 Iditarod finish, though he called it a "theoretical positive" and confirmed it was Marrs' team.
KTVA Sports obtained the unredacted toxicology reports the same day Marrs made the allegations of intimidation against Craig, which shows the positive results from Dallas Seavey's team for Tramadol, as well as the positive results for Marrs' team for lidocaine.
Chas St. George, the ITC COO, said the lidocaine levels were so low that the Iditarod policy didn't require notification of the musher. St. George also maintained that ITC officials knew of the lidocaine test results all along but that the levels did not constitute a positive result.
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