Apologetic officials of the world-famous Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race have admitted that they were barking up the wrong tree.
In doing so, they cleared four-time champion Dallas Seavey of any wrongdoing, stemming from the 2017 race in which he finished second but four of his dogs tested positive for a banned substance.
Race officials, instead, assert that someone administered Tramadol, an opioid painkiller, to the dogs — but it wasn’t Seavey.
A news release, under the headline “ITC board of directors and Dallas Seavey move forward,” read, in part:
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 (Iditarod Trail Committee) concludes that it is not credible that Dallas was involved, and he is found to have committed no wrong doing. Whatever happened was completely beyond his control.
According to the release, steps have been since the incident to safeguard dogs with increased security protocols for the 1,000-mile race.
As part of its release, the Iditarod apologized to Seavey for “any negative publicity and damages this situation has caused him.”
Iditarod board president Mike Mills told the Anchorage Daily News: “We met with him multiple times and there was (sufficient) evidence to conclude he didn’t have anything to do with it. … There’s no wrongdoing with Dallas that we found. He had no knowledge. It’s a hard situation to untangle, but we’re comfortable that we made the right decision.”
Race officials didn’t specify what evidence absolved Seavey, whose family has participated in 47 Iditarods but didn’t participate in 2018. He said in a statement, “I look forward to many more years of involvement in the Last Great Race!”
So who doped the dogs?
“We’re convinced,” Mills said, “we’re never going to figure that out.”