ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Jan. 10, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Renowned musher Dallas Seavey today challenged the governing body of the Iditarod race to prove its allegation of doping or else the responsible individuals for the misrepresentation tender their resignations at a public hearing this month.
"As the race's governing body, the Iditarod Trail Committee (ITC) is responsible for overseeing the integrity of the Iditarod," Seavey said. "The ITC's failure to conduct proper analysis and due diligence prior to making an accusation against me is not only wrong, but unfair to the sport, the mushers, the dogs, and the Alaskan community. I have dedicated my life to this sport. The ITC must either publicly prove its allegation or the responsible individuals should resign."
The ITC asserted Seavey was involved in administering a banned substance to his dogs during the 2017 Iditarod. Yet, in the past 10 months, the ITC has failed to provide any evidence to demonstrate its claim.
In November 2017, the four-time Iditarod champion, Seavey made a formal demand for details on the ITC protocol, collection process, and toxicology specifics after race organizers alleged four of his dogs tested positive for Tramadol, a banned substance, in the 2017 competition.
He publicly made the request after the ITC's failure to provide substantiating evidence at the time of its accusation.
"Despite my repeated requests, the ITC has still failed to provide a single document or piece of evidence that connects the collection of samples from my dogs with the allegedly positive tests," Seavey said. "This information is critical in determining whether my dogs or the test results were tampered with."
Seavey has been working with a prominent board certified forensic toxicologist to assist him with understanding the limited information provided to date by the ITC. Based upon recommendations from the toxicologist, Seavey made a second formal request in December for additional ITC documentation. The ITC has failed to respond to his second request.
The independent toxicologist's analysis of the limited ITC data has raised significant questions about the validity of current ITC sample collection and testing protocols.
"ITC's failure to provide support for its assertion that I administered banned substances to my dogs has led to my decision to demand a public apology," Seavey stated. "ITC failed to exercise due diligence before it concluded my dogs were administered a banned substance."
Seavey has consistently denied allegations that he administered or that he had any knowledge that his dogs had been administered a banned substance. He seeks to be cleared of the allegation and suspicion created by race organizers.
He also called on ITC board members who have a conflict of interest, such as competing in the race, having a family member or spouse competing in the race, or a defending record that puts them at odds with current competitors, to step down from the ITC board to preserve fairness and integrity within the race and sport.
The failure by the ITC to ensure transparent procedures "is an institutional problem that needs to be immediately addressed and remedied," he added.
SOURCE Dallas Seavey