Reality check


This story was updated on Oct. 24, 2017

Can you believe a bunch of evil, animal-rights activists were sitting around in the PETA headquarters in LA in January plotting how to sink the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, and the best idea they could come up with is this?

“We’ll go to Nome during the running of The Last Great Race. We’ll figure out a way to feed tramadol to some of four-time champ Dallas Seavey’s dogs. (Huskies like tofu burgers, right?) And we’ll count on the Iditarod to uncover this doping, and then for the first time in its history publicly reveal a positive doping test involving the race’s golden boy.”

Alrighty then.

Strange though it is to write these words, PETA and the rest of the Humaniacs have to be let off the hook on this one. Sabotaging anything by committing an act that requires a second party to first determine what has happened and then respond by doing something it has never ever done before is simply nonsensical.

So on the list of Seavey explanations for “why I had four doped dogs,” let’s scratch that one.

But wait, there’s more.

World War Seavey

In a 17 minute, 46-second video declaring war on the Iditarod – a side-lit video shot at a table in a log house with some strange editing cuts and a shadow of the musher haunting the background – Seavey offered other explanations for the doped dogs:

  • He was framed because he fought the Iditarod over its decision to allow mushers to carry two-way communication devices. Seavey claimed credit for spearheading that drive. “We united against the board (of directors),” he said. “The board did not like this.” The first thing they did to get even was to ban trailers for hauling dogs, “a measure directly targeted at me as a consequence for daring to challenge our board, for daring to call them out, for daring to question their authority. How dare us mushers do that?”
  • “There are mushers that were close to me on the race that I feel have a grudge. They do not like me. I don’t want to get into the details now.” Let’s label these folks “Musher Y” and “Musher Z” given Seavey has already claimed “Musher X” in a statement of innocence he gave to Wade Marrs, the president of the Iditarod Official Finisher Club, before the Iditarod on Monday, at last, revealed Seavey as the doper.
  •  And then “there are many other people that could do the same thing, whether it was anti-mushing people who were in Nome this last year. There would be nothing better for their videos….or any number of other possibilities.” What would those many other possibilities be?

OK, now let’s consider these accusations one by one. Politics and sometimes, yes, pettiness are Iditarod norms. There are quite a lot of people involved who don’t like each other all that much. Maybe the ban on trailers in which to tow resting dogs was directed at Seavey.

But a drug frame up? Really.

Most of the people on the Iditarod board are business people. Seavey was their prime commodity. Trained by reality TV, only 30-years-old, he is personable and well spoken. Everyone saw him as the face of the Iditarod of the future.

The Iditarod needed him. It is facing tough financial times. The budget is down due to the Alaska recession and the pressure put on race sponsors Outside by animal-rights groups. The movie “Sled Dogs” is making its way around the country. 

As ever the case, the scenery in the movie makes Alaska look pretty. It makes the Iditarod look like a tough competition for the dogs, and it is – much as the Tour de France is a tough competition for people. The movie also makes some Iditarod mushers look like they’re into the Iditarod dog race more for themselves than the dogs no matter how much they claim “it’s all about the dogs.”

Overall, this is not a good thing for Iditarod in a tough time for Iditarod.

Business decisions

With all of this going on, the board decides it will execute its poster boy? And not quietly in some backroom, but with the public relation’s equivalent of crazy North Korean president Kim Jong Un blowing up perceived traitors with anti-aircraft guns.

Is this possible? Sure. Anything is possible. See crazy Kim Jong Un and those executions. But that isn’t the real question. The real question is this:

Is it probable?

It’s hard to answer that with anything but a no. Even for those who do not like the members of the current board does, it is hard to answer with anything but a no. The current doping mess is doing more damage to the Iditarod brand than it is to Seavey.

And say what you will about the Iditarod’s board – and this being Alaska there are no opinion shortages – there’s no evidence anyone there harbors a secret desire to sabotage the state’s biggest sporting event.

In fact, the most amazing part of this story from the start – in the eyes of knowledgeable Iditarod observers – is that the race decided it had to reveal the fact a top-10 musher was caught doping his dogs. These sorts of things have been handled quietly and out of the public eye in the past.

Possibly because of this, the Iditarod hasn’t faced a public crisis threatening the integrity of the race since 2007 when musher Ramey Brooks was caught beating up on a dog team along the Bering Sea coast. And that was an open and shut case not of the race’s making with multiple witnesses to what happened.

It wasn’t some case brought to the board’s attention by Iditarod staff and scientists citing data from the confusing world of pharmacology saying they had evidence dogs had been drugged in some time period stretching from nine hours before the end of the race until almost six hours after.

Seavey admitted he didn’t understand the science of toxicology that judged him a doper, and so after months of talking to Iditarod officials, he thought he was in the clear.

“I believed that they had come to that conclusion,” he said in the video, “that I’d been cleared of all wrongdoing.”

He does not explain why he believed that, continuing only with the observation that “I was assured by (race marshal) Mark Nordman that they were taking this issue very seriously. They were going to increase security. They were going to protect our food drops. They were going to have surveillance in the checkpoints….

“The next thing I heard was the Oct. 9 press release.”

That press release revealed almost nothing other than that there had been a positive test. The Iditarod tried to negotiate the minefield of a serious doping positive without naming Seavey. The Iditarod foolishly, almost crazily, tried to protect its golden boy.

It would take almost two weeks for Seavey’s name to come out. Seavey sees that as some sort of plot. Others see it more indicative of the historic, public relations bungling of the Iditarod.

The Iditarod media spokesman has remained largely invisible since this story blew up.

Lots not to like

It is easy to believe there are people within the Iditarod organization who, as Seavey says in the video, “don’t like me.” He and his father have combined to win the last six Iditarods. They are an Iditarod dynasty.

Few like dynasties.

When Rick Swenson from Two Rivers dominated the Idtarod in the late 1970s and early 1980s, nobody liked him. When the late Susan Butcher took over that role in the mid-to late 1980s, there were people who didn’t like her.

When her star fell and that of Montanan Doug Swingley rose in the 1990s on the way to reaching its zenith in the early 2000s, a lot of people disliked him. Even four-time champs Jeff King from Denali Park and Martin Buser from Big Lake, who spread their wins over a decade or more each and never carried the race-dominating influence of a Swenson, Butcher or Swingley had their enemies.

And more recently there was affable, trouble-plagued, dope smoking, hard partying, four-time champ Lance Mackey from Fairbanks, who everyone loved except those who detested his outlaw ways.

Nobody tried to sabotage any of them. The history makes it hard to believe anyone would try to sabotage the younger Seavey simply because he’s cocky, arrogant and self-involved. And he has offered absolutely nothing approaching evidence to indicate that “Musher Y” or “Musher Z” in anyway threatened him.

Who would these guilty mushers near Seavey on the trail be? Nic Petit from Girdwood, the musher who finished just behind Seavey in Nome and delivered a veterinary book Seavey left in the Safety checkpoint – a book Seavey needed at the finish line before he could be allowed to officially finish?

Seavey’s own father, who was finished just in front of Dallas? Joar Liefseth Ulsom, the Norwegian just behind Petit. Never trust those foreigners, right? Quiet Montanan Jesse Royer who finished just behind Ulsom. Never trust those Outside mushers, right?

Dallas’s Willow neighbor Marrs, the musher who delivered the “Musher X” denial for Dallas, who finished just behind Royer? Marrs’ friend Ray Redington from Willow, an heir of the late Joe Redington, the race founder, and the man finishing behind Marrs.

Three-time runner-up Aliy Zirkle from Two Rivers, who was behind Redington? Yeah, that’s it. Zirkle wanted to get even for 2014 when Dallas passed her team parked in a storm at Safety and went on to win and put on that silly Front Street show in Nome wherein he claimed to believe he didn’t know he’d won.

Dallas offered no names of those who hold this “grudge” against him. Why would he? It would allow other mushers to defend themselves. It’s better to level vague accusations about the many people out to get you, and the many equally vague ways to sabotage a team.

“You  could very easily inject any drug” into food bags, Dallas said, or at least someone could if someone had access to the drugs and happened to be running around the Iditarod food drops in an Alaska village with a big syringe.

And if the food wasn’t frozen.

The latter is no small issue. Iditarod food is usually shipped frozen to checkpoints, and the Iditarod tries to keep it frozen so it doesn’t spoil. How exactly does one “inject” anything into a frozen chunk of meat? Is there a special heated, electrically powered needle for that?

It is always possible Dallas is the victim of some grand, anti-mushing or anti-musher conspiracy. Innocent people are too often found guilty of acts they didn’t commit in this country. It would be nice to discover Dallas is indeed innocent.

But the troubling thing, the really troubling is one of the last statements he makes in his own defense.

“I’m the guy that turned around two miles out of Kaltag to go back and get my snowshoes, knowing full well that I could replace them in Unalkaleet at the next checkpoint,” Dallas says in his video, “but the race rules say we’re supposed to have our snowshoes, and I’m going to follow the rules. So I went back and got them, and now you’re telling me that two days later I’m the one drugging my dogs. I don’t think so.”

Translation: Only two miles out of the Kaltag checkpoint, Dallas was thinking about cheating, but decided he was close enough that he could turn around, go back and get his mandatory gear. The rules don’t say “we’re supposed to have our snowhoes” in checkpoints.

“”Rule 16, Mandatory items,” very specifically says, “a musher must have with him/her at all times the following items,” snowshoes being one.

“At all times.” Apparently to Dallas this means “that I could replace them…at the next checkpoint.”

Dallas seems to believe that going a tiny bit out of his way to follow the rules earlier in the race when he could have so easily broken them demonstrates he would follow the rules later in the race when finishing positions in Nome – and the money that goes with them – hang in the balance.

Maybe, maybe not.

His anecdote could well illustrate nothing more than a musher weighing costs and benefits. Going back to get those snowshoes probably cost Dallas 20 or 30 minutes, and there is little “doubt that he could replace them in Unalakaleet at the next checkpoint.”

But he could also have been caught without his mandatory gear in Unalakleet. The rules clearly state “gear may be checked at all checkpoints except Safety.” Penalties for forgetting mandatory gear vary, but some mushers have been penalized hours.

Twenty or 30 minutes to go back and get the snowshoes versus hours potentially lost in Unalakleet? That question has an easy answer.

Drugs to help preserve a second-place finish on the run along the last, 80-mile stretch of trail into Nome with another musher hot on your tail? The math might be different there. Especially if you think you won’t get caught.


89 replies »

  1. I think the court of public opinion, known as the silent majority, feel that the team should be disqualified.
    With respect to the conspiracy claims, the general public is desensitized to the fabrications due to the Lance Armstrong debacle.
    There’s an outside chance that what Dallas is saying is true, but this doesn’t alter the fact that four of the seven dogs crossed the finish line and subsequently failed the urine test. Whether or not Dallas accepts responsibility, the ITC can, and should, disqualify the second place result.
    I don’t know what the rules state regarding a decision by the ITC, or if there decision can be appealed, but Dallas should have hired a doping attorney and a spokesperson.
    I sense that Dallas has caused himself irreparable harm, and forced the ITC into an uncomfortable position that ultimately will not be beneficial to either.

    • Well Clinton, were this horse racing its little doubt that this team would be DQ’d. And under the new rules, just adopted by ITC, any future team found to have drugged dogs will be DQ’d.
      Whether/not the mushers will accept this new rule will, most likely IMO, depend on the ITC being able to fully protect its teams from any/all potential other individuals from tampering with these dogs.
      Now the ITC doesn’t have the ability to DQ someone in this case, by their own admission, yet your position is that regardless of ITC’s thinking they should do what you think is the silent majority’s opinion that Seavey be disqualified. I’m sorry, but you are going to need something more to sell me on your own opinion, as well as your thinking on the silent majority opinion. You are surely entitled to your opinion but we’ll wait for that silent majority to voice their position before we buy into it.
      Just my opinion here.

      • Well Bill, give it a couple of weeks. One musher has already pulled out of the race because the ITC failed to disqualify Dallas for mistreatment of dogs; using performance enhancing drugs.
        Additionally, some with first hand information, and some actual witnesses are speaking out about the mounds of dead dogs-part of the Seavey culling and farming practice in Seward, and in the valley. This could very well be the end of the Iditarod as we know it.

      • Clinton, where do you get your bit about the reason that musher is pulling out?
        The kennel owner (Ed Stielstra) said this: “I take this doping very seriously,” Stielstra said. “Dogs were given drugs. We don’t know by who but we need to find that out.” They (Stielstras) were also upset about ITC taking 6 months to announce the drugging issue.
        If they acknowledged that they didn’t know who did the drugging, why do you say “because the ITC failed to disqualify Dallas for mistreatment of dogs; using performance enhancing drugs.”???
        They do appear to be upset with ITC, however.

  2. Well, since Craig posted this article, Dallas has been non-stop babbling to the press. I get it, he’s pissed. Really pissed. But geez … he’s just digging a bigger hole for himself and the Iditarod. The Iditarod can’t do anything to him (unless something like a video emerges of him shoving tramadoi pills down his dogs throats). So he should shrug it off and get back to training his dogs for Iditarod 2018 Like I said before, this is pro sports and not a popularity contest. Shit storms like this happen to pro athletes. Frequently. A real pro sucks it up and goes back into the game, and doesn’t have a hissy fit and quit. Dallas needs to think beyond himself. Many people and dogs rely on the Iditarod continuing. But Dallas isn’t helping the Iditarod, or his livelihood, survive. He rails against the idiots on the ITC, race marshall and head vet. He is right, they are all idiots that prove their incompetence regularly. But they are old geezers that will be retiring or dying soon (hopefully). So the current regime of ITC idiocy should pass before long. And this PR wound will heal. Dallas needs to smarten up, shut up and go back to training his dogs for the 2018 Iditarod, and beyond.

    • I get it too, that Dallas is young, has got some maturing to do and lives an isolated life on a dog ranch … but geez, he should really get some counseling/coaching on how to communicate to the public. Joe public flips to the next web page once you start spewing details. Joe Public just doesn’t care. You should be able to state your point in 10 words or less. It shouldn’t take an 18 minute video and meetings with the press with a stack of email transcrips. Just say: “I didn’t give my dogs any banned substances.” 8 words. That’s all it should take. Simple, and you don’t give the media lots of rope to hang you with. Right Craig!? 😉

      • I don’t know James, about his ability to communicate to the public. Just a glimpse at the comments to the FB interview show an enormous percentage of folks leaning towards his innocence with most of them just plain “believe him.” Some, no doubt, have some connections to him but my guess is that they, not only care, are listening to him.
        Always a possibility that he has them hoodwinked but this video suggests, to me anyway, that he is winning this PR battle by his communication style, along with his prior status as a somewhat straight shooter.

    • Agree that Dallas is digging himself into a hole deeper and deeper the more he talks. But I don’t agree with anything you said about ITC officials.
      According to Dallas in this interview the ITC vets were going to do blood testing for Dallas at the finish. Did they do that testing? Do they have blood or test results? Do those blood tests show drugs in the blood?
      It appears that somebody gave those dogs a controlled substance. Did that person legally possess the drug? If not, that person could be in legal jeopardy with the DEA. How much does ITC know about the drugs in the blood and how far will they go with it if Dallas keeps pushing the issue?

      • The way I understood Dallas, talking about those blood tests, is that the Iditarod folks were doing the blood draws and that he would have the lab work done and share results with Iditarod (he didn’t know about whether/not the drug would show up in blood). My guess is that there is still much to be done here, relative to this blood sampling, as there is too much water under the bridge to just drop this pissing match between ITC and Dallas.

      • Craig, do you have some reasoning for this almost certainty? Do these opioid-type drugs not have enough time to get into the bloodstream before they get passed out?
        Were there any information about this tramadol in the blood tests, we would probably have heard about it by now is a good guess but there must be a reason for it not being there IMO.

      • because they didn’t look for tramadol, and in chemistry you usually only find the things you’re looking for. it’s not like being an old guy tearing the house apart looking for your keys only to find your missing reading glasses. and it appears the blood was destroyed after the tests were done for Dallas, who owned the blood.

      • That makes sense, Craig. Thanks.

        However, the blood test would show what they were looking for that might show some unusual levels, too. But had this been pertinent, we would have heard about it by now is my guess.

  3. Craig….you probably already caught this but just in case other people haven’t seen it…

    Early in this interview Dallas says that he has found out with research on google in the last 6 months that Tramadol has a half life in a dog of about 2 hours so it leaves their system in a hurry.

    Then in this interview around minute 8 Dallas says that he had arrangements with Iditarod Head Vet Stu Nelson to have Iditarod vets help draw blood from his dogs six hours after the finish in Nome. He says he had arranged to share the blood with the Iditarod vets so they could all study the recovery timing of the dogs and that this is something he had been working on for years. Then he asks would I have given my dogs Tramadol when I knew there would be a urine test and I also had all these blood tests scheduled? He says he assumes that the drug would have turned up in the blood tests, but he’s not sure, cause he isn’t a toxicologist.

    He also says that he sensed that his dogs were unusually lethargic at feeding time in the holding area but didn’t know why until the urine tests came back positive for a sedative.

    If he had given the dogs tramadol himself wouldn’t he have realized at the Nome holding area that it was the drug which was making the dogs seem lethargic? And then canceled the blood tests?

    So, did he follow through and have those blood tests done? Did the Iditarod vets assist him with those blood tests as planned? Did the results of the blood tests also show drugs? Or were the blood tests even used to look for drugs?

    Here’s the interview…

    • It’s common knowledge that mushers give their dogs uppers and pain killers during training. It was true years ago when the chief vet told them how to avoid positive drug tests. It’s especially true now that mushers have dogs run thousands of training miles on treadmills. That’s what Dallas does, which is why he was interested in having those blood tests being taken in Nome. While tramadol can sedate, it’s primarily a pain killer. Mushers are rallying around Dallas because they’re all in the same boat. They all drug their dogs. Maybe the Iditarod pointed to Dallas because he didn’t give them $50,000. It’s weird that his sponsor, JJ Keller, hasn’t said anything. That guy is usually very vocal.

  4. Craig is an idiot. Please stop calling yourself a journalist. Twisting a story and facts for whatever your agenda is.

    • Thomas, do you prefer regurgited “facts”, released by organizations (goverment or otherwise) that have their own interests in mind? If so, you can find plenty of that sort of “journalism” anywhere but here. Craig’s style, in my opinion, is not for you to agree or disagree, but to THINK.

      • thanks John. that’s the goal, but there are fans who become worshippers, and at that point it’s hard to get beyond what you believe to try to sort a lot of facts.

    • Hey Thomas. Read the banner “Commentary” means it is not a news piece but opinion. He is entitled to his opinions as much as you are but he, at least, has the balls to sign his full name and not call names without being held accountable. Try it sometime.

  5. Could there be legal implications for Dallas if he eventually confesses to giving his dogs Tramadol? I understand Tramadol is a controlled substance and requires a prescription. What if he doesn’t have a prescription for it? If he confesses would he be in jeopardy regarding where he got it?

  6. Wait – aren’t you the same guy who insinuated wintergreen oil was all tangled up in this story before you started trolling with this new version of gossip?

    • no, mary, i reported wintergreen oil contains a legally banned substance, which it does. i don’t know why the Iditarod has chosen to overlook it for years. the ingredient, salicylate, has shown up in Iditarod drug tests, but no action has been taken. it does raise questions as to why the Iditarod Trail Committee chose to act on tramadol.

      • They acted on tramadol because it’s a banned substance; wintergreen oil is not. By the way, the support for Dallas is overwhelming and includes myself.

    • Of course the racers are saying they believe Seavey. It is in their best interest to do so. This doping scandal has the potential of bringing down the Iditarod. All those who financially benefit from the event will lose and that is pretty good incentive to argue that Seavey was not complicit.
      I cannot recall off hand any person accused of using in some form drugs to help performance that readily admitted knowingly using them. The excuses range from flat out denial, someone spiked my gator aid, was unaware it was banned to claims of bad testing procedures. And it seems that it is eventually proved that they knew exactly what they were doing or they finally admitted to using. Is Seavey any different?

      • Interesting theory AF. However, it will be shown that Dallas’ support from racers does not only include “those who financially benefit from the event.”
        And your horsechit recollection about persons accused of using drugs has no place in a post for “thinkers” IMO.

      • Bill: you really need to take a deep breath! When you insult others who have different opinions from your own you take away any credibility you might have had. Your strident accusations are counter productive to a healthy discussion.

      • Well AF you might want to include what “accusations” you are referring to.
        And rather than announce that I’m insulting others, just come out and say that I’ve insulted you. Further, how were you insulted? Go ahead and explain why my calling you out on your comparisons to only those athletes eventually proven guilty is some kind of insult!!!
        I think we know who needs to take a deep breath.

      • Bill : I think being accused of having a “horsechit” recollection or calling Medred’s piece ” pure unadultered horsechit” might be considered insulting accusations by reasonable people. Not you though, huh?

      • OK AF, first of all my reference to Craig involved “bullchit”, not horsechit. There is a difference, too.
        And second both of those statements were my opinions of those issues and not intended to be “insulting.” I stand behind both statements, by the way. So you felt insulted by my opinion? Tough noogies!

  7. @craigmedred i just tried to post this on craigs word press site not sure if its goin thru so again here -> craig in cities all across america, cops regularly collude and committ perjury to plant drugs on people and frame people doing things that they didnt do. in some instances the cops suspect they party to be guilty of something , the thing they planted or sometohing similar. but it happens all the time. the race org and board etc as as a , comparably, small town goverment or law enforcement for the race and racers. and yeah, there is motive agains dallass for speaking out . i pointed it out before, but years ago i spoke out against the race for raising he entry fee, and ran into isssues shortly after. its a corrupt, heavily economic and political, community,. that is not so wholesome and touchy feely as majority of fans believe. i remember getting an email from jeff king years ago, buying dogs, where he told me to “be careful”. and that he didnt like email because he couldnt see the personsbody language. working as a handler for martin buser at the time, i actually showed martin the email. i thought it weird. back than, weird like the year i ran the serum run lisa frederick leaving random little notes and trinkets in my sled bag. i dont have the answers re this, but i would suspect dallass got framed. and that maybe the people who did it, suspected or knew he was doing somehting else wrong. not the tramadol. and thats part of the reason, beyonc criticism of the racxe etc, that contributed to this developing as it has done.

    • totally agree, John. but the things you talk about rarely happen with the town’s favorite son. it’s usually some poor, black kid. and the lab that didn’t the testing here doesn’t seem to have any dog in the hunt.

  8. If you are comparing Dallas Seavey (who has not been proven to be a cheater) to Lance Armstrong (who has been proven to be a cheater), then actually you are passing judgment on him simply by making the comparison.

    • not necessarily, Sarah. there are parallels here other than drugs – the offensive pattern of the defense being chief among them. long before Armstrong was proven to be a cheater, his strategy was to attack anyone who suggested he might have used drugs and point fingers at others. Dallas appears to have adopted the exact same strategy. that doesn’t necessarily mean he doped. but it does make it harder, given the Armstrong history, for some to accept his denials.

  9. Suppose liquid Tramadol could be injected into a bag of frozen dog food at a checkpoint. The Tramadol would freeze. How would freezing change the efficacy of the drug?

  10. There are holes in this story (injecting Tramadol into frozen food is a big one) – BUT this can be answered with pragmatic science if the results from urine testing can be released to independent vets and toxicologists. Question 1: Do all four dogs have approximately the same level in their system? Dogs will have different metabolism rates BUT if there is a big difference – it is likely that Tramadol was given at different times. This would undercut the sabotage argument. Question 2: What Tramadol dosage (approx) would be required to result in levels detected 6 hours post race if administered in WM, Safety, Nome? You can make assumptions using dog weight, and previous studies on metabolism of racing dogs…..This backcalculation would give a range of detection levels – see what makes the most sense. Question 3: How are the urine samples handled and processed prior to shipment to a lab??

    And my big one: Why hasn’t the ITC already done this when they got a positive result from one of their top competitors and mushing representative?

    • most of those have been asked, Donna; i’m still awaiting answers. there are also questions as to the metabolites, two of which are tested for. metabolites out of sync with the parent drug could suggest more than one dose was given over time. the 15 hour window on when the drug could have been administered clearly goes to your question 2. the Iditarod is sticking to that number, but i have to yet get them to explain how they got their. it could be back calculations on the parent drug, as you suggest. it could be metabolities or it could be both. the friggin’ detection level was set very low – the rate for parent drug excretion at three days. that should be almost nothing with tramadol. that almost makes me wonder if Iditarod didn’t think they had a tramadol doping problem and went looking for it. the dose they found is pretty big. so big it could be accidental. that would jive with the Iditarod, according to Seavey’s version, asking if the drug could have been given accidentally at Nome, which is obviously also the reason for Iditarod’s “zero” hour. unfortunately, the zero-hour plus the 15-hour marker have left me confused. i just don”t understand how one gets a 0- to 15-hour window for a rapidly metabolizing drug. i’m having problems putting the pieces together. i’m not a toxiclogist although i least did have some upper level chemistry classes at university. but at this point, like you, i have a lot of questions and few answers.

      • I agree the 0 to 15 hour window seems more than a little weird given studies on Tramadol and the metabolites. Have they released the exact amount that was detected for EACH of the four dogs? Or did they just provide a summary or average? It is always frustrating to me when reasonable answers can be determined (especially if they can exonerate someone) using boring, science. I am a geochemist but kinetic rates of decomposition apply to both organic and biologically mediated compounds. The ITC needs to at least address their reasoning on the doping window. That much is deserved to the mushing community and to Dallas. I am suspicious that they also encountered metabolites out of sync with the parent drug indicating multiple doping incidents. This would answer in part, their hard (and unexpected) stance on this. Colorado State university and University of Illinois have state-of-the-art vet programs that could possibly refer you to people that could help with this. I know there are vets in Alaska that are second to none working with working/racing dogs but forensic doping analysis requires some specialized skills. Just a thought.

      • believe me, we’re on the same page here. ITC has provided one number for parent tramadol. i have to assume that is an average, but i don’t like to assume.

      • I don’t know if you found the answer already and posted it somewhere. If not: You cannot tell the exact time at which the drug had been given, because you don’t know the dosage given. But as the pharmacokinetics of Tramadol in dogs are know, one can calculate the minimum dose, which must have been given right before (at 0h) and one can also calculate a second time point in the past (here 15h) assuming a maximum meaningful dose of the drug, which then had been already partially metabolized till the time of taking the samples.

        To add to some related topic: All the talk about the blood tests is only a red herring for me. First, you will find the drug only if you specifically look for it, and most likely those test were not looking for Tramadol and second, even if you were looking for the drug and got a positive result, there would be no additional information to the positive result of the urine test. Anyhow, Dallas would have been in control of the results of the blood tests and what to publish or not.

        I would be really interested in the exact test results. If they have been published somewhere, please point me to it. It would be interesting to know if individual results for the dogs exist or if some sample pooling had been done to save money.

      • i have not found answers as yet. still working on those. but i agree with most of your post. i would, however, think that if you find metabolites, you can throw another number or two into that mix because it takes time for the drug to metabolize. and there should be some sort of connection between the amount of parent drug found and the amount of metabolite, right?

        the blood, at least as Seavey has presented that argument, is without argument a red herring. it’s a given that you only find what you’re looking for in any test, and the vets doing the blood work weren’t looking for drugs. still, my understanding is that the blood might give you a better indication of what time the drug was administered.

        if i was Dallas, and found out about the urine test and had the blood, i’d be asking the lab to test the blood for me to a.) make sure there was tramadol in the dog and b.) see if the timeline could be fine tuned. i guess that didn’t happen. and it’s obvious no reporter had the smarts to ask Dallas the obvious blood questions. i’d be guessing there’s a reason he’s been evading me and my pesky questions.

        the lad believes the blood was destroyed, but they don’t know for sure. Seavey owns the blood.

        the tests have not been published anywhere. i am still trying to get that information. i’ll write about it when i find out. there are individual tests for two dogs and two dogs were pooled to save money.

  11. For ten years I wondered what drug the mushers were using on their dogs to get them to Nome that fast….I knew it was a highly synthetic and fairly advanced substance which was metabolized quickly to evade urine screens.
    Tramadol or Ultram as it is called is a “silver bullet” for all pain, fatigue and mental breakdown that “normal” dogs would incur if you tried to get them to Nome in 8 days from Willow.
    Please do not miss the fact that this substance is a highly addictive opiate, and our country is in the middle of a “Opioid Crisis”.

    • Interesting accusation here, Steve.

      What you have suggested is that all of these teams are using some sort of “synthetic and advanced substance” (most likely prohibited) because of your opinion that “normal” dogs couldn’t do the race in 8 days. It is my opinion that you will need to back up your opinion with something, besides your opinion, otherwise you are painting a lot of mushers as druggers.

      And further, you are painting the race as being complicit in this since they would have to know something along these lines were taking place (with their drug testing program). You are entitled to your opinion but that is all it is IMO. What does our “opioid crisis” have to do with any of this??

  12. Craig, I noticed you’re typically obsessed with three things: slandering competitive mushers, bear encounters with humans and salmon subsistence issues. Broaden your thick skull a bit ehh? Don’t be an old dog intolerant of objectivity. You’re journalistic style frequently leaves the realm of sound investigative journalism. Rather, your journalistic style oftentimes approaches theoretical thinking out loud, and temper tantrums when folks won’t interview with you. These temper tantrums manifest in your use of unfounded slander, and controversial titles based on ignorance.

    I’m a traditional Native American musher, that uses larger dogs for winter fishing, hunting, and hauling firewood. I don’t obsess over these racers, and neither should you. I want to share some facts with you, as you’re not a musher, and quite clueless. I want you to address them please:

    1. Dallas Seavey is a stickler for the rules, more so than any competitive musher you’ll ever meet. I’m not a fan of him, but he is a straight shooter.

    2. There has indeed been two occasions of animal rights activists pretending to be fans, winning the trust of certain mushers, attempting to film documentaries, when behind the scenes, they were deceiving these mushers and were out to cast mushers in a negative light, and did so with documentaries or news stories spiked with fictitious materials. That is a fact, ask ANY musher.

    3. The use of the word “Doping” with this incident is incorrect. Lance Armstrong used a performance enhancing substance. Tramadol, used to sedate dogs and relieves dogs in pain, leaves them as nonperforming sloths. The biggest side effects: drowsiness and dizziness. Ask ANY veterinarian if your thick skull will allow.

    4. There IS a security problem in the protection of Iditarod dogs, mushers, and their property.

    a. Mushers have had there belongings stolen, food drops missing, etc. Some have even had to scratch, due to missing food drops.

    b. Consider this: Aliy Zirkle was so terrorized by that psychotic killer on the snow machine, she suffered emotionally after the incident. Nobody could protect her, she was a sitting duck. The same with Jeff king, as he picked up only pieces left of his dog, one of his best friends. I’m not a fan of him either, but that that tough old SOB internalized the trauma, and pushed on.

    5. If you’ve ever spent thousands of dollars on dog care and worked along side Alaskan vets, you would know that Tramadol comes in pill form, injected form, and irresistible chewables. It’s plausible that any keen husky nose would dial in on one of those Tramadol chewables tossed within proximity of them in Nome, without a single person detecting the incident.

    6. Dallas Seavey’s dogs didn’t fail a drug test, the Iditarod officials failed him and his dogs, just like they failed Scott Smith, when they over-stuffed a plane with too many dogs, killing one of his best friends (carbon monoxide poisoning and asphyxiation) as well:

    In closing,

    Craig, I wish you the best with your coverage, and I mean you no harm. I expect the same, so don’t even think about lashing out at me. Stop on by anytime to jump on some sled runners, of feel free to email me if you have any dog related questions, my bloodline has been running dogs for thousands of years.

    • well, you got #4 right, Michael. the rest? #1 is at best a guess based on your opinion of Dallas Seavey. i’m a journalist whose been at this for decades. if there’s one thing i’ve learned for certain, it is that people aren’t always what they appear to be. #2 is irrelevant; animal rights activists have made shit up, too. so what. it isn’t slipping drugs into dog food. #3 is simply wrong. tramadol does have a sedative affect on some dogs. for others, according to vets, it “creates that feeling of euphoria and well-being that human patients sometimes experience.” #5. you assume the doping took place in the Nome dog lot. that is a Dallas Seavey assertion, not the position of the vets or the lab which say the doping could have taken place up to 9 hours before the dogs got to Nome. #6. Seavey’s dogs did most certainly fail a dog test, both on the A and B samples. given all this, i’d be tempted to call you an ignorant gas bag, but that would be nothing but an effort to try to misdirect the discussion from the substantive issues to a debate about the character and/or motives of the messenger as you try to do at the start of your missive. but for the record, i’ve spent my life with dogs and done enough time on the runners to know how hard it is to get a borrowed and hungry dog team past the sweet-smelling Shageluk dump with a poorly trained lead dog. send me your address and i will stop on by. and i’ll count your dog and sled skills being better than your understanding of what journalism is and isn’t.

      • Craig,
        It turns out this Tramadol drug is all around Alaska…
        Just had a friend tell me “The VA in Anchorage is giving it out like candy to Vets”
        Turns out it is currently being used to treat PTSD in soldiers returning from Iraq & Afghanistan…
        I wonder if this is a link to the DARPA studies done on several top Iditarod dog lots years ago?

      • Craig,
        It’s nice of you to find some common ground on issue #4, I appreciate that. You’re disagreement with the rest is OK with me. In journalism, there has always been a fine line between opinion and fact. The crossing of that line varies greatly from one writer to the next. I’ve no dog in the fight. I appreciate your consideration of my observations and guest appearance on your website.

      • thanks Michael, and you’re wholly right about that fine line. some of the most slanted stories i’ve ever read were “objective” in the sense that the contained no opinion; they just left out a shit load of information that made them all about opinion. i try to avoid that, and to be transparent, and to communicate with people when they voice a complaint.
        i blame my father. i don’t know how many times as a child i heard: “you could learn a lot of if you’d just shut up and watch and listen.”
        much of what i’ve learned has come from listening to others. i always appreciate the input even if i don’t agree with people. in fact, it’s when i don’t agree with them – but they make solid, substantive arguments – that i appreciate them most.

      • Craig, your comment “creates that feeling of euphoria and well-being that human patients sometimes experience” seems to be contradicted by this: “In clinical use, I think it’s favorability has fallen off. It has mostly a sedative effect in dogs and a fairly poor analgesic effect,” Dr. Sept explained. “That’s because dogs lack the receptors that people have for it to be effective as an analgesic (pain-relieving) drug.”
        I’m sure you are familiar with Sept, who IMO has cred. here.

      • talked to Bob at length. we’ve known each other forever. he did knee surgery on one of my dogs. it worked beautifully. from his experience with the drug and the latest in the literature, he says what he says. i’ve gotten emails from plenty of others both ways. some, it knocks their dogs out; others, it makes their dogs perfectly perky. the results some to be somewhat individual specific. that is the case with a lot of drugs.
        and i will tell you this about athletes and drugs: they don’t always dope with what works; but they always dope with what they BELIEVE works. what Bob or Smars or you or i or the rest of the world thinks the drug does really doesn’t matter much; what the doper believes the drug does matters totally. Dallas has given two versions of the drug. in one, he says he never heard of it. in another, he says he was told and then realized why his dogs looked so “down” at the finish; they’d been given a heavy sedative. i’d consider tramadol more of a minor sedative, but i’m more baffled as to how someone who’d never heard of it knew it was a sedative or how he thinks they ingested it before the finish. then again, as i’ve told others, it’s possible that in the stress of this Dallas just got his stories confused.

  13. Dallas’s biggest screw ups have been in the last couple of days. The Iditarod acknowledged that the rules of the 2017 Iditarod were such that the ITC could likely never prove intent to dope. So he had little to worry about. Dallas should have just said, “I did not dope my dogs”, and leave it at that. This PR storm would have eventually blown over, like they all do. But he is young and hot-headed and doesn’t realize that he is in a pro sport, and not a high school popularity contest. If you are successful, there will be people that hate you for your success. That’s the way it is for everyone. And making 18 minute videos and withdrawing from the 2018 Iditarod isn’t going to make haters stop hating. Pro sports is a business, and Dallas has made some bad business decisions recently. No $60 grand from next year’s Iditarod. Sponsors may bail on this now-embattled musher. He will soon learn that his hotheadedness is way more costly than a doping allegation that can’t be proven. My advice/reality check to Dallas: Stop talking. Reenter the 2018 Iditarod. Remember that pro mushing is a business, and not a popularity contest.

    • While we’ve had our differences James, I’ll say here that I agree with most all of your post.

      That said, its easy for us to armchair Dallas’ feelings (as hotheadedness) but he is living this nightmare while we are just spectators to it.

      • Yeah, I feel sorry for Dallas. But he has made his nightmare worse than it should be. I remember when I was his age, I would confront perceived wrongs done to me with a vengeance. Just like Dallas. And usually, that only made things worse and didn’t change the outcome. Oh well, hopefully 10 years from now Dallas will have his ten Iditarod wins and this will be a distant memory. And … hopefully the Iditarod will still be in existence in 10 years.

      • Yessir James, with 20/20 hindsight we can pretty much agree that complete transparency, by all concerned, would have made all this much easier on “all concerned.” I suspect the race will survive but I also suspect a lot of changes to occur, due to this mess.

      • i blame my father. i don’t know how many times as a child i heard: “you could learn a lot of if you’d just shut up and watch and listen.”

        You and I both.

        Purely opinion here Craig:

        Your critical thought processes are advanced to say the least.

        Your willingness to explore the concepts of critical thought are at an uncharted level of advancement and thoroughness that few humans posses.

        Regardless of background or profession, I’m certain you’d give a forensic scientist a run for his money.

    • James,
      I feel you are right and can’t help thinking Dallas is really stepping aside because he is trying to show that he is not happy with what the Iditarod has done to mushing and racing for that matter.
      Maybe Dallas can enjoy a winter of mushing without the constant pressure to “perform” for society?
      Either way, those sled dogs were drugged.
      A positive result on 4 dogs is not a fluke in the system.
      These Opioids are not leaving society any day soon.
      What can Alaskans do to prevent this culture from growing?

    • I so agree with you. The optics are not good. Dallas’ video reminded me of someone that rhymes with Rump. As you noted, he could have simply said he was not responsible and further investigation is warranted. Defend yourself, but do not blame others with conspiracy theories. “just the facts” as Joe Friday would advise.

  14. I don’t see Dallas risking his career to do this. The magic number Five was not going to happen with his father having a 3 hour lead. Was the difference between 2nd or 3rd place worth it either monetarily or damage his reputation as a premier contender? I read somewhere he had just gotten a new lucrative endorsement and everyone seems to agree he is a top athlete, works hard and is very smart. Yes, there appear to be people who don’t like him for the reasons you gave. However, I really don’t think any of the top competitors are involved. There is the very strange way the ITC “unveiled” all of this. It took six months from the time they notified Dallas to announce the dogs were drugged and come up with a new rule most mushers will have difficulty complying with, in that they do have to seep a few hours on an 8 + day race. Could it be someone who had nothing to do with the race, just a sick, twisted mind?

    • shirley: you presume he knew or believed he was risking his career. unless he believes that, he’s risking nothing. and he’s a hardwired competitor. why did Doug Swingley push dog teams on the coast to finish second when he had that position locked, but clearly wasn’t going to catch the leader? because he was hard-wired to do it. other mushers regularly bad mouthed the hell out of him for racing hard to the finish when he knew he’d lost. he couldn’t help himself.
      Lance Armstrong had extremely lucrative sponsorship deals, was uber smart and a world-class athlete. it didn’t stop him from doping. in fact, the opposite appears to be the case. those things emboldened his doping.

      • Craig, while he may/may not have believed “he was risking his career”, he surely would have believed there was risk involved in drugging his dogs (whatever that risk may have been-DQ, or some other penalty).

        It’s clearly not, as you say: “he’s risking nothing!”

      • Yeah, and Dallas has a background in Olympic level wrestling. I’m sure he at least learned a little about doping there. Plus he had Nic Petty hot on his heals out of WM so there was a motivation to hold on to 2nd…not to mention that the guy ahead of him was an old geezer…he caught and passed another old geezer to win just a few years back…

  15. Maybe ITC revealed this one because this is the first time that the positive finding of drugs is so definitive…i.e. no chance of accidental contamination of food sources like tainted meat.

    That ITC approved delay of 6 hours before urine testing caught my attention too. Before the race even started Dallas requested that his dogs not be urine tested until they had gotten a 6 hour rest in Nome in the holding pen so they could be urine tested at the same time that he had some private blood tests scheduled. Could he have been planning the use of Tramadol at White Mt. all along…to help the dogs rest there and get up pain free?

    If he had given it to them with a feeding at the beginning of his 8 hour rest in WM that would have given his dogs about 8 hours in WM, 9 hours run time to Nome and 6 hours rest time in Nome for a total of 23 hours to metabolize the drug. Would the drug show up that strongly in the test after that long? Depends.

    The level of drug in the urine samples seems to indicate they got the pills in Nome…maybe at that first feeding before they bedded down. Dallas would not have given them the drug in Nome intentionally. But who else was there helping him feed in Nome? A handler? Remember in the “not guilty” video Dallas says that Nordman called him and asked if there was any possibility that the dogs accidentally got drugged. Dallas told Nordman he would have to talk to his people in Nome about it. What people in Nome? Family, helpers and handlers, of course.

    Then Dallas said in the video that he got back to Nordman and said he knew that Nordman wanted him to report an accidental dosing. But instead he said he was 99.9% sure there was not an accidental administration of the drug. Why did he say that? Why not 100% certain?

    What if he was planning to administer the drug after the race was over and the testing completed to help the dogs sleep and relieve pain? But in the “fog of Nome” he or a handler accidentally gave the dogs that little white pill with their feeding too soon. Those are the two possibilities I see. Intentional dose in WM or accidental in Nome.

    Is it beyond the realm of possibility that Dallas simply made a mistake in the Nome holding pen? Ordinarily I would say “no chance” Dallas would make a mistake like that. He is too smart and too well organized. But Dallas was not his usual self in the this race. He brought an unwieldy sled to the start. He borrowed a phone from his buddy Wade Mars and called in sick from Ruby with an early 24. He forgot his snow shoes in Kaltag and had to return to retrieve them giving the race leader a big break. And then he forgot his vet book at Safety.

    You can still view the finish line videos on the Iditarod web stie. Dallas seemed a little embarrassed when greeted by Nordman at the finish line and a bit manic when trying to thank Nic Petit for bringing his vet book along from Safety so that he could officially finish in 2nd place while Nic, just 5 minutes behind, got third. That arrangement was engineered and sanctioned by Marshall Nordman who can still be seen thanking Nic for bringing in Dallas’s vet book from Safety. Didn’t really seem like Nordman was out to get Dallas when he greeted him Nome with no reproach for showing up without the required gear. But that was before the “s*** hit the fan” in a far away drug testing lab. All in all, it seems like Dallas was juggling too many balls in the 2017 race…and that one of them, a little white one, was too much for Marshall Nordman to stomach.

    • It seems you are making the case both for and against Dallas. I do think Nordman accommodated Dallas over the vet book incident and gave him the opportunity to say there could have been an accidental dose given. So rule out Nordman was out to get him., but maybe rule in something not right with him because of the other incidents you mentioned. If the pills were given in Nome as you suggest, why, for what purpose except to cause problems for him or the race. Why him, he exemplifies the race at this time. I don’t know who, what or why, but I do know it’s a mess and I hate it for the race and Dallas, who has never been a particular favorite of mine.

    • Pcreek-

      “The level of drug in the urine samples seems to indicate they got the pills in Nome…maybe at that first feeding before they bedded down.“

      Tell me more about this and your knowledge about this. Are you just an armchair Doctor or do you have some formal training and education to make that assumption. Not trying to be mean but just trying to sort the theory from fact.

      • J- I have no formal training in the field at all. I got that impression from reading the press release from Iditarod on Oct. 23 which says in part…

        “According to the lab report, the parent drug, Tramadol, the instrument was noted to be
        “Saturated/Overloaded”. What this means is that testing devices are typically set with
        upper and lower limits of detection. In this case, the levels recorded were at 254 ng/ml
        (nanograms per milliliter). That value exceeds the normal detection limits range which
        is set to approximate levels of the parent substance three or more days after
        therapeutic administration.”

        After reading this again I see that the “Saturated/Overloaded” designation is based on testing for approximate levels THREE OR MORE DAYS after ingestion. So, my assumption that “the level of drug in the urine samples seems to indicate they got the pills in Nome” may be wrong. The whole press release is here…

    • It was the vet book left @Safety that locked it that Dallas was musher x. I believe the ITC covered up what was wrong with his dogs that they would require the Tramadol. He arrived @ White Mtn with some of his dogs limping or just sore and knowing Nick would be on his trail snacked his dogs with the drug inside. If he was such a stickler for rules and he would go miles out of his way for mandatory snowshoes then why would he leave Without the vet book or return to get it unless you Knew the ITC was going to cover your but and give you 2nd no matter what-Which they did! The vet book is the key as it will show if it was doctored to cover for any reported issues of Any kind.

  16. The similarities of the response of those accused of doping are frightening. His (Seavey’s) script has been used many times by professional cyclists.

  17. Dallas requested a delay in having his dogs tested in Nome, because he wanted them to be fully rested before urine samples were taken. The Iditarod granted his request.

    It seems likely that Dallas miscalculated how long it would take for the Tramadol to pass out of their bodies.

    Since other dogs have tested positive for drugs, and the Iditarod was silent, why did they now reveal the existence of positive drug tests?

    • As I heard Dallas’ reasoning, he scheduled both the blood tests and urine tests for 6 hours (maximum) after finish because he wanted them to get some good rest immediately after his grueling race.

      We are aware that you seem to have some sort of agenda here Lisbeth but please leave the “alternative facts” out of your posts.

      • There’s no reason to have dogs rest six hours before blood and urine tests unless you’re hoping the added time will allow Tramadol to pass out of their their bodies. Dogs don’t use a lot of energy peeing in a cup or having some blood taken!

      • That’s just your opinion Lisbeth. The race allows up to 6 hours to schedule those tests and Dallas chose the maximum the rules allow. Your opinion involves an assumption that you can’t back up IMO (namely that Dallas is guilty of drugging his own dogs).

        And further, I don’t believe it was “energy” that Dallas was concerned about. He wanted them to get some reasonable earned rest before being subjected to the time element for those tests, according to his statement.

      • “Your opinion involves an assumption that you can’t back up,” to quote Bill Yankee. Dallas says he wanted the dogs to get some good rest. maybe he did; maybe he didn’t. it sounds nice. but the race is over. the dogs have days to rest. getting up to pee is not a big deal for a dog.

      • Well Craig, your comment that getting up to pee is no big deal, and I certainly agree. However, if they are being disturbed (whole team) by those gathering that pee they are clearly not getting that “good rest!”

        And he had also scheduled his “blood tests” for the same time, after the dogs got their “good rest.”

        Clearly, Dallas could be lying, but at this point that is just a possibility. Unlike Lisbeth’s assumption that Dallas is guilty of drugging his dogs-hers is one of building a “strawman” while yours is specifically a possibility. Two entirely different things, IMO.

      • I never heard of a musher “scheduling” the urine test. The vets just show up when they have time to do it. The press release from ITC says that before the race even started Dallas requested that his urine testing at the finish line be done after 6 hours in Nome to coincide with some other private blood testing he had scheduled. I can understand him wanting to do that so the dogs wouldn’t be disturbed while sleeping but I can also understand why this pre-race request would raise some flags for the ITC.

  18. Some valid points. I believe that the truth is somewhere in between.
    Board bungled what may have been an honest attempt to protect the boy’s reputation.
    D.S. called it “the worst call in his life”, which goes to illustrate he hasn’t experienced as yet many of life’s hard truths. So he becomes righteously indignant and is looking for shadows in all corners.
    From what I can see, the only shadows thrown are those cast by the Board’s insistence on secrecy.

    Your reasoning above leaves out on thing: he was participating in voluntary testing and knew full well that any substance would be detected. This, coupled with the fact that he is a meticulous competitor who has shown himself to be of good moral fiber, causes me and many to believe that he wouldn’t do such a thing. Character matters.
    This can prove to be a great learning experience for the ITC, if handled correctly.
    Transparency is called for.
    So too, as Dallas points out, is a full overhaul of testing and security procedures.
    Hopefully they will be up to the task.

    • that blood belongs to Dallas. i guess Iditarod could try to get it with a court order, but it’s not like it is going to be out there waiting to finger Dallas as a doper. same for any results from the blood testing. those results are Dallas’s, too.

      Dallas is a former reality TV actor. reality TV is all about deception. he participated in the deception. maybe he got used to it. maybe he liked it. i don’t know.

      i also don’t know that he “knew full well that any substance would be detected.” you’re taking him at his word. did he know the detection times on tramadol in urine? i didn’t. if he did know, why exactly was he studying up on this?

      there are a lot of holes in Dallas’s story. after listening to Dallas, i can certainly see why Stu Nelson or Mark Nordman or anyone else asking Dallas questions about this tramadol would be more suspicious after talking to Dallas than before.

      • Seriously Craig??? “Dallas was a tv actor”….. I feel you yourself need a “reality check”. Dallas won the Yukon Quest, and Iditarod BEFORE he was ever in a ‘reality show’. It has nothing to do with anything.

      • so let me get this straight, Ev. because Dallas won the Quest, he wasn’t a TV actor even though he was a reality TV star? that’s your line of logic? Dallas participated in an activity where he learned that a.) appearances matter a lot, and b.) things can be faked. it’s wholly relevant now that much of the discussion hinges on his credibility. he was a participant in a show built on deceiving the viewers into believing that what was staged was real. he did that for money. i’m not passing judgment one way or the other. i don’t know his level of honesty. but people do deserve to know that he at the very least went along with bending the truth to make a buck.

      • Actually Craig you ARE “passing judgement”, are you applying your same logic to Brent Sass who also participated, and Lance Mackey who made a film? ….and anyone other musher for that matter?

      • your question is unclear, Ev, but i think it is essentially this: do i think that if Brent Sass or Lance were in this situation any past activities that go to the issue of their credibility should be mentioned?
        and the answer is yes.
        if this were Lance, i’d certainly be mentioning his rather lengthy court file and history of problems with the law, which is well documented, and if it was Sass, well, i’m not going there because this isn’t about him. it’s about Dallas.
        and i’m not passing judgement on Dallas because i don’t know. he could be telling the truth here. if that’s the case, i truly feel sorry for him. he’s in a tough spot where the evidence is against him. i felt sorry for Floyd Landis. i spent a lot of time once looking at the evidence against him. it had big holes in it. and then he confessed.
        i have no doubt Floyd did drugs. but i’m still not certain he did the drugs for which he got busted.

    • But what consequences did Dallas actually face? He was Not penalized in the least from leaving his vet book @Safety to the positive drug test he was able to keep All his 2nd place money and almost got away with this if not for the ITC first doping statement. They had covered up for him all the way. It was the Iditarod finishers ultimatum that forced them into outing him.If not for that he would still be in the shadows as musher x.

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