ITC no longer believes Dallas Seavey was responsible for dog doping
A step toward rebuilding relationships happened Tuesday for Dallas Seavey and the Iditarod Trail Committee.
“I’m very much relieved,” said Seavey over the phone.
The Board of Directors met earlier this week and in a statement released by the ITC, say they do not believe Seavey had any involvement or knowledge of the events that led to the positive drug test in his dog team.
“What I will say for the past few months communication with the Iditarod has been completely different,” said Seavey. “I feel like in these past few months it’s been a much easier time working with them, and it’s been enjoyable.”
The four-time Iditarod champion said he’s spoken with the new ITC board members, felt they have very valuable skills, and is encouraged the direction the Iditarod is headed for years to come.
The press release further goes on to say that it is not credible that Seavey was involved and that "what happened was completely beyond his control.”
ITC Board president Mike Mills says in the statement, “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. On behalf of the ITC, I apologize to Dallas for any negative publicity and damages this situation has caused him."
Seavey told the ITC he was greatly appreciative for resolving this issue.
"I greatly appreciate the Iditarod resolving this issue thoroughly and definitively as well as their acknowledgement of the difficulties this has caused both myself and the greater mushing community," Seavey said in the ITC's press release.
"Since my grandfather's participation in the inaugural Iditarod, the Seavey family has cumulatively competed in the 47 Iditarod races," Seavey said. "I look forward to many more years of involvement in the Last Great Race!"
As of Tuesday morning, Dallas Seavey had not signed up for the 2019 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
“If I don’t run the Iditarod this year it won’t be because we are protesting anything,” said Seavey “It’s simply because it’s not in the best interest of myself and my dog team.”
Currently, Seavey says he's still considering his options, and if it's financially possible, he'd like to return to Norway to run the Finnmarkslopet, the country's premier race, in which Seavey placed third in 2018. He ran the race instead of the Iditarod that year.
The 2019 Iditarod will start on March 2 with the ceremonial start in downtown Anchorage.