ITC clears Dallas Seavey of wrongdoing in 2017 drug test
Four-time Iditarod champion Dallas Seavey has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Iditarod Trail Committee Board of Directors in connection with the drugging of his dogs after he completed the 2017 Race.
After Seavey completed last years race in Nome, four of his dogs tested positive for Tramadol, a pain reliever. Seavey vehemently denied drugging his dogs and skipped the 2018 race.
In a news release Tuesday, the ITC board said: "After several meetings with Dallas Seavey, and review of all relevant information and evidence, the board does not believe that Dallas had any involvement with, or knowledge of, the events that led to the positive test in his team."
The ITC said that whatever happened last year was beyond Seavey's control.
“We regret the delays in resolving this matter and want to make clear that we do not place blame on Dallas regarding the circumstances surrounding the positive drug test of his four dogs in 2017," ITC Board President Mike Mills said. "On behalf of the ITC, I apologize to Dallas for any negative publicity and damages this situation has caused him.”
Seavey has not yet registered for the 2019 race, but in the Iditarod's release, he said he "looked forward to many more years of involvement in the Last Great Race."
"Certain damage had already been done and the only thing they could do is the best thing right now moving forward. I feel that's exactly what the board did," Seavey said. "Again, I'm grateful for that. As far as what it could have been? I guess at some point does it really matter? Here's the situation right now. At least we have it resolved and we're able to move forward from this point."
When asked if Seavey would be racing in the 2019 Iditarod, he said he needs to reassess.
""This has been incredibly challenging both emotionally, it's been draining it's been a huge weight. Also financially, it's definitely been a bit of a hit. So at this point I need to reassess," Seavey said. "We can close this door, we can look at what's the next best step. If I don't race the Iditarod it won't be because of some shortcoming on the race's side. It will just be that it's not in my best interesting or my team's best interest or it's just not feasible."
Seavey said the entry fee for the race was raised to $8,000 after November. He's also been training his dogs with a focus to race in Norway again, after really enjoying the experience last year.
While Seavey doesn't know where he'll race, maybe Norway, maybe Iditarod, maybe some mid distance races, he said he might just train the dogs and have fun. Right now, his mission is moving forward.
"[I want to] continue to grow as a musher, keep developing the sport and become better and better at traveling with dogs, whether that's in racing or expeditions," Seavey said. "That's what I devoted my life to."
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