After more than 25 years of drug testing for the Iditarod Trail Committee, Dr. Morrie Craig announced he is resigning from his position with the Last Great Race on Saturday, Iditarod officials say. 

Dr. Craig pioneered the Iditarod's drug testing program which was the only program of its kind in the sport of sled dog racing when it started, according to a release from the ITC. 

He came under fire last year after musher Wade Marrs claimed the doctor threatened him before the restart in Willow. Craig was reprimanded by the ITC. It determined the conversation took place, but could not determine what both sides discussed. 

The doctor says he plans to continue working with the ITC on research projects that focus on the health and well-being of sled dogs. 

“As a colleague and friend, I have great respect for his knowledge and expertise, and I look forward to working with him on future canine drug testing research,” ITC Chief Veterinarian Dr. Stuart Nelson said about Dr. Craig.

Dr. Craig has received a number of professional awards: the Oregon Academy of Science Scientist of the Year in 1996, the Oregon State University International Service Award in 2010, and more recently the Oregon State University Industry Partnering Award. He was Fulbright Research Fellow in 2004 and was made a member of the Fulbright Specialist Roster in 2015. He was also inducted in the Greyhound Racing Hall of Fame in 2010.

Recently, Dr. Craig received a lifetime achievement award from the International Society of Animal Clinical Pathologists.  

“I continue to be humbled by the vision that Joe Redington Sr. had to preserve the rich tradition of Alaska’s sled dogs and its contribution for countless generations.” Dr. Craig said. “I hope I can continue to contribute to the sled dog through my ongoing research.” 

The ITC says the search for Dr. Craig’s successor will begin immediately.

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