Seavey cleared?


The Nome dog lot where Dallas Seavey contends his dogs were doped.

This is a developing story; it was last updated 7 p.m. on February 14


A crisis-management firm representing four-time Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race champion Dallas Seavey is claiming “definitive proof” that he did not dope his dogs last year based on the opinion of a University of New Orleans toxicologist.

San Francisco’s Singer Associates in a press release today said Patricia Williams in New Orleans has concluded “tramadol was administered to four of Seavey’s dogs two to four hours after Seavey finished in second place in the 2017 Iditarod.”

Reached by telephone in New Orleans, Williams said she reached that conclusion based on the ratio of the parent drug to tramadol metabolites in the urine.

Singer Associates said Williams has written a “21-page report which highlights the inadequacy of the laboratory testing protocols for tramadol and the inaccuracies of the opinions of Dr. A. Morrie Craig, the Iditarod drug testing director.”

Craig is the director of the Dr. Morrie Craig Laboratory at Oregon State University, where the Iditarod sends the urine of Iditarod dogs to be tested. He is considered a national authority on canine and equine doping. A professor of toxicology, he was named Oregon Scientist of the year in 1996 and inducted into the Greyhound Hall of Fame for his work in helping to clean up doping in that sport. 

“He chronicled detection and clearance times of legitimate medications in greyhounds in 1995 and again in 2007,” according to the Greyhound Hall. “(His) research revealed foreign substances in the food chain resulting in positive tests that did not affect racing ability and thus sweeping changes were made in racing laws and policies in several states. He received a Special Achievement Award in 1991 from the NGA (National Greyhound Association) for his work in establishing the drug testing program.”

Craig contends the time of doping for Seavey’s dogs cannot be narrowed precisely because of the wide variations in the normal accumulation tramadol and metabolites in the bladder of canines. Since the doping of Seavey’s dogs was first revealed, he has stuck to the position that the tramadol could  have been administered any time from two to 15 hours before the drug test administered six hours after Seavey finished the Iditarod.

Seavey first suggested doping in the two- to four-hour post-race period in a videotaped interview with the Anchorage Daily News in late October.

The “most likely scenario,” he said then, was that “somebody had this drug, and was standing there, and the dog yard is vacant at 10:30-11 at night in Nome. there’s not a soul around, and took the opportunity.”

Dallas was reportedly asleep by then after going for some post-race pizza. Where other members of the Seavey entourage were at the time is unknown. Mushers finishing the Iditarod regularly have handlers keeping an eye on their dogs.

The only dog teams in the Nome dog lot at the time Seavey’s toxicologist alleges the doping took place were those belonging to Seavey; his dad Mitch, the winner of the 2017 race; and Nic Petit of Girdwood, the third-place finisher.

Bill Dickinson from Grand Rapids, Mich., who was working the Nome finishing chute of the 1,000-mile race and was regularly in and out of the nearby dog yard at the time, has said he is skeptical of the sabotage claim.

In a November interview with, Dickinson said he was having a hard time buying 30-year-old Dallas’s public suggestions that there were a lot of people in and around the dog yard who could have slipped a pain-killing drug to the dogs.

“I didn’t see anybody doing anything with the dogs,” said Dickinson, who described a quiet dog yard all through the evening of March 14.

Details, details

Williams said her full analysis of how she arrived at the timeline narrowing the time for the administration of the tramadol is in the hands of Clint Campion, the Anchorage attorney who represents Dallas. The full report is now available here:

Singer claimed “the administration of tramadol to Seavey’s dogs after the 2017 Iditarod was potentially harmful to his dogs and would not have provided any competitive advantage to Seavey.”

There is a debate within the veterinary community about what tramadol does to dogs. It has normally been prescribed as a pain killer, and Seavey has said it was prescribed for his prized lead dog Guinness after a surgery some years ago.

Butch Kukanich is a scientist at Kansas State University who has been involved in much of the research on the drug.  When given to healthy greyhounds, he reported in a 2011 study, “tramadol was well tolerated, and a significant increase in pain-pressure thresholds was evident five and six hours after administration.”

In an interview with, he said tramadol – a synthetic opioid – does not, however, behave in canines as it does in humans. The dogs, he said, do not respond to it as if it is an opioid.

He described tramadol in dogs as having a more ““Cymbalta-like effect.”

Cymbalta is an anti-depressant drug now widely prescribed to treat fibromyalgia, a chronic disorder marked by widespread muscle pain and tenderness, and overwhelming tiredness. Dogs nearing the end of the Iditarod in Nome are often visibly dealing with overwhelming tiredness and tender muscles.

Williams said she was not paid to conduct the study for Dallas. She said in a message to that her services were volunteered.

“I rode in the Iditarod 2017 as an Iditarider and brought three of my grandchildren who also rode,” she said. “I bid and won four mushers. I believe this race embodies the very spirit of Alaska and its wonderful citizens including the beautiful, athletic huskies.”

It did, however, note she recommended someone “convene an independent investigation to determine who administered tramadol to Seavey’s dogs.” That has earlier been suggested by others but has not happened.

The Iditarod Trail Committee issued a statement saying it was reviewing Seavey’s media statement and planning to “request any relevant documents created by Dallas’ team to investigate further.” It also continued its efforts to make peace, saying “the ITC wants to re-emphasize that it does not place blame on Dallas Seavey” and won’t speculate on how the dope got in his dogs.

Dallas, meanwhile, declared himself fully vindicated on the opinion of the toxicologist he hired.

“I am looking forward to putting this debacle by ITC behind me,” he is quoted as saying in the press release. ” My name is cleared, but for the future of the sport I call on the ITC to improve its processes and place a higher value on preserving integrity and fairness for all mushers and dogs in the sport of sleddog racing.”



The full press release follows:

Four Time Iditarod Champion Dallas Seavey Clears Cloud of Suspicion in Doping Scandal

Anchorage—Four time Iditarod champion Dallas Seavey has definitive proof that demonstrates the Iditarod Trail Committee (ITC) wrongly tied his name to dog doping allegations in the 2017 Iditarod.

An independent forensic drug testing expert has reviewed the documents provided by the ITC and has reached the following conclusions:

  • Tramadol was administered to four of Seavey’s dogs two to four hours after Seavey finished in second place in the 2017 Iditarod.
  • The dosing of Seavey’s dogs after the completion of the 2017 Iditarod supports intentional doping of his dogs by an unknown third party.
  • The administration of Tramadol to Seavey’s dogs after the 2017 Iditarod was potentially harmful to his dogs and would not have provided any competitive advantage to Seavey.

These facts constitute clear and convincing evidence that Seavey did not dope his dogs. Even the ITC, in January this year, publically acknowledged in the Anchorage Daily News that the organization did not have documents readily available and has had to gather them: “The ITC has been and continues to respond to Seavey’s requests and has provided information as quickly as possible.” The statement continued, “The ITC wants to re-emphasize that it does not place blame on Dallas Seavey regarding the positive urine drug test results in the canine team and will continue to not speculate on the circumstances surrounding the positive drug test of his four dogs.”

Seavey has completed the Iditarod 11 times, winning the race four times (2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016). Seavey estimates that his dogs have been tested between 15 to 20 times by the Iditarod Trail Committee over the past decade, and he has never had a positive test before. Seavey reiterated that he believes the ITC has mishandled this process from the beginning and wants the public to understand that he did not administer any banned substance to his dogs.

Seavey is frustrated that the ITC did not undertake an independent review of the drug testing documents before releasing his name in connection with the positive test results. The ITC provided Seavey with the drug testing documents only after multiple requests. The documents provided by the ITC were provided to Dr. Patricia M. Williams, a renowned drug toxicology expert, who conducted an independent review.

On February 5, 2018, Dr. Williams issued a 21 page report which highlights the inadequacy of the laboratory testing protocols for Tramadol and the inaccuracies of the opinions of Dr. A. Morrie Craig, the Iditarod drug testing director. Based upon her review of the documents provided to Seavey by the ITC, Dr. Williams recommends that the ITC take the following steps:

  • Convene an independent investigation to determine who administered Tramadol to Seavey’s dogs.


  • Review Iditarod security measures to ensure the integrity of the Iditarod and the safety of Iditarod dogs and mushers.


  • Review the drugs identified on the handwritten sheet provided by the ITC which are not associated with Seavey’s dogs.

“I strongly stand behind drug testing as it is an important procedure to ensuring the integrity of the sport and the safety of the dog athletes, but the ITC needs to implement its drug testing program with transparency and standards,” said Seavey.

“I am looking forward to putting this debacle by ITC behind me. My name is cleared, but for the future of the sport I call on the ITC to improve its processes and place a higher value on preserving integrity and fairness for all mushers and dogs in the sport of sleddog racing,” said Seavey. “I am ready to get back to doing what I love and do best—being with my dogs on the trail.”

Dallas Seavey will continue to participate in the sport of sleddog racing, expanding his experiences this March by accomplishing his longtime goal of competing abroad. Seavey and his dogs will compete for the first time in Norway’s Finnmarksløpet onMarch 9.

Editor’s note: Some of the comments posted here in the past 24 hours were removed because they were nothing more than unsubstantiated personal attacks on Patricia Williams. Commenters are reminded to be civil. Ms.Williams should, at the very least, be credited with good intentions. Questions as to why she decided to get involved are obviously valid. I think she has answered those by noting that she is a fan, not a paid consultant. Certainly everyone can have a good debate about whether that makes any potential biases (and everyone has them) for better or worse. The science here, unfortunately, is open to interpretation. There are no scientifically established protocols for determining time of drug administration based on the quantities of tramadol and its metabolites in the urine of canines. Morrie Craig offered one professional opinion on timing. Ms. Williams offered another. They are professional opinions, but they remain opinions. Everyone is entitled to those, which is why comments are encouraged on all the reporting at







43 replies »

  1. Hi Steve . If I offended you by using the word haters , I apologize. Wasn’t a very good word . Was trying to be descriptive not offensive. It wasn’t meant for you. I don’t consider any one my opponents during discussion or writing.At least not that are reading this . I consider other racers opponents at times . I appreciate that you think recreational mushing could be a good thing . I think you may misunderstand the Benefits dogs get from professional racing. If you and I ever get a chance we should discuss it in person as would take lots of writing. In very short sled dogs have many times better lives now than 50 to 100 years ago in part due to professional racing making dogs more special/ valuable in public eye . Many many facets to this that would take a lot to explain as it’s not black and white. Side note ,Guessing Craig does a bit of moderation because when people get to grumpy or mean facts get lost due to emotions being pushed to front of discussions . Where there is smoke there could be fire. so I value your opinions. Have a great day . Thx Steve .

  2. This site now censors comments that do not support the Iditarod.
    Bill Yankee and Craig Medred can speak of “crazies” and “hell bent”…speak of gun control on dog issues….yet “spin doctor” and “quack science” are not allowed in this discussion.
    Further more….Ramey and Dr. WILLIAMS both call their opponents “HATERS”on several stories.
    ..something which is totally FALSE, yet remains posted in the comments.
    I guess the last fair news site in Alaska is biased as well.
    Everyone should know this.

    • Steve Stine: I see your comments, so I don’t think your censorship statement is true. Although I do see the threading of comments and replies are all messed up, so sometimes it’s hard to figure out who’s replying to who.

    • Steve – i try to keep this civil while allowing a fair bit of latitude to comment broadly. i don’t think i’ve ever killed a post calling me names, but i think others should be treated more respectfully. Patricia Wiliams has not engaged in “quack science” here as far as i can tell. she is operating well within the bounds of her expertise and offering professional views on which she is qualified to testify as an expert. other experts might agree with her interpretations, but there isn’t any “quack science” behind them.
      if you want to question the ways in which she arrived at her conclusions, as Scott Gates did, have at it. i’d love to see her answer, and i think that kind of questioning informs everyone. the name calling doesn’t.
      that said, i’ve not going to spend time moderating comments that take broad swipes at broad groups of people as “haters” simply because i’m sure haters exist. i’m sure there are Iditarod haters, and animal-rights haters, just as there are Iditarod lovers and animal-rights lovers.
      so now you should have a good idea of what the boundaries are. my simple advice would be this:
      when in doubt, be polite.

  3. These comments are disgusting. All of you guys trashing a PHD, who appears to have started out as an actual lab tech, who has taken her own time to review this case and render an expert opinion based, in part, on a review of the scientific literature, while Dr. Craig sits in his home office because he has been banned from the university campus where he works. I have read her report and unlike most of you, I actually understand much of it. I worked in a hospital lab for 40 years.

    It’s laughable that you are accusing Dr. Williams of forming an opinion solely for the sake of justifying Seavey’s narrative, when all the while you are doing the same; ignoring or challenging her report to support your own preconceived notions. Grow up!

    • Deb: Thanks for the comment. I largely agree. But there is one opinion in that report that appears fully intended to justify the Seavey narrative, to wit:
      “The evidence in this report warrants an investigation for unknown person(s) with a deliberate intent to compromise the integrity of the Iditarod.”
      The first part of that statement is obviously true, but there is no evidence on which to conclude “unknown person(s) with a deliberate intent to compromise the integrity of the Iditarod” were involved.
      Even if you buy the Williams report claim to the time of doping, which is open to scientific debate, that does not foreclose the possibility the tramadol was administered by someone in the Seavey “crew,” as Dallas Seavey has referred to it; or Vet X, to whom Dallas also has referred, or to other mushers, who Dallas has publicly suggested could have administered the drugs.

  4. Craig, I know you are still smarting about Freedman getting exclusive rights to the Mt. Johnstone incident with Nyman-Sweeney. I think Sweeney is ready to talk now.

  5. This is addressed to Craig Medred and everyone commenting here:
    Good grief! Get over it.
    Nothing will ever be substantially proven one way or another.
    Adopt new drug-testing rules if that is an issue.
    I would suggest mandatory rest-stops at every checkpoint. Maybe this is the same as in Europe.
    Please enlighten me.
    And Craig – you need to expand your horizons a bit. Not everything in life is about a dog, wolf, or bear.

    • geez, i’d be happy to get over it if more logs weren’t constantly being thrown on the fire. now we’ve got some Dbol in there and no idea of whose dogs that was in although Seavey’s consultant say it wasn’t his. so then why would Irod be sending the Seaveys data on other people’s dogs.

      • Well, it seems you are really bogged down in details. This subject (Iditarod) is not really relevant but to only a small group of people. It will not win a Pulitzer Prize in my world.
        But Sweeney..If he is still reluctant, I can smooth things over…..
        The human psychological reactions to disaster! That is a show!

    • Jim helped me at a very vulnerable time. It was a love triangle with Nina. Jim was right there to help me through it. That’s a good story too.

      • Sweeney wrote a book about Mt. Johnstone, right? A Thousand Prayers. The story has been told. Medred does well writing about new stuff. Don’t see why he would want to rehash old stories.

  6. I’m curious if urine analysis was able to indicate whether tramadol had been administered a single time or multiple times. It seems to me well within reason to dose a dog around White Mountain and then again in the dog lot, pretty standard dosing schedule for Tramadol.

  7. Seavey continues to bring his own name up time and time again in attempts to clear himself of wrong doing. Like the English say” me thinks he doth protest to much”. Whether it is an unchecked ego or just plain stupidity he cannot help himself by continuously raising the subject. He doesn’t need a PR team to get his “good name” back. He needs a muzzle.

  8. This is Dr. Patricia Williams, Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology. I was paid NOTHING for the work on the report for the Seavey dogs and Mr. Medred did NOT interview me about my report. He called me but was having great difficulty absorbing the science without a hard copy to read. I offered to explain it to him after he procured a copy. And he did call Mr. Campion’s office to get one.
    For James Hendrix, Toxicologists must routinely use all animal studies as well as human studies in rendering causal opinions and to meet the knowledge requirements of Board Certification by the American Board of Toxicology, the only Board certification for General Toxicology. which includes the entire field of toxicology. Everyone and anyone can call themselves a toxicologist, but proof of competency is through Board certification which was initiated by the Food and Drug Administration in the 1970s to stop the fraudulent and incompetent reports being produced by self-proclaimed toxicologists.
    In my report is the following paragraph for those who doubt that anyone would engage in foul play, perhaps you would explain why these results received from the lab in discovery were not disclosed or considered violations:

    “A handwritten sheet denotes other positive results with only one with a partial identification number. The drugs identified on this handwritten sheet are metandienone (anabolic steroid; performance enhancer), naloxone (opioid antagonist), theobromine (found in chocolate), and tramadol. The partial ID number is -014 and denotes a concentration of 237 ng/ml for tramadol. In a Certificate of Analysis Report #Rpt-170323028 for the Iditarod-Nome Race Date: March 15, 2017 the following number is listed:

    Sample Code Client ID Sample Type Condition Results
    17031713-014 E225586 Urine Acceptable No Violation
    This specimen has the same partial ID number of -014 with a result of 237 ng/ml as listed on the handwritten sheet.

    Of particular concern is the specimen with naloxone as listed on the handwritten sheet. Naloxone is used for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose or to reverse the effects of opioid sedation in animals. Naloxone reverses the effects of μ receptor agonists. (Brunton, 2006)”

    I rode in the Iditarod 2017 as an Iditarider and brought 3 of my grandchildren who also rode. I bid and won 4 mushers. I believe this race embodies the very spirt of Alaska and its wonderful citizens including the beautiful athletic huskies. I do pro bono work for criminal prosecution as a public service in matters of drug and alcohol. Metabolites do not lie. I certainly can and did do the same pro bono service to help protect the integrity and security of the Iditarod.
    Patricia M Williams PhD, Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology

    • Could you please site the K9 study that was used as a baseline to reach your conclusion?
      Was this prior study specific to Tramadol metabolized in Sled Dogs that were in stressed environments?

    • Ms. Williams. It is clear (by the 7 pages of credentials, certifications etc. in your report) you do have extensive credentials as a professional expert in toxicology. That expertise appears to be exclusively regarding humans. I don’t see any specific expertise with animals, although you noted your review of the literature, citing several animal studies … involving it appears several rats and a couple misc. dogs, along with a group of beagles.

      Mr. Craig on the other hand, who you so quickly seek to disparage, it appears has decades of direct animal experience and expertise … and not only that, he has specific domain experience with highly conditioned racing animals.

      Some of your claims against Mr. Craig may have merit … I’ll wait to hear his (and other experts) response. I’m just a layperson, but with a fair understanding of the topic, and I think you could agree that; a.) ‘review of the literature’ would generally be considered a lower standard than decades of specific domain experience, and b.) that a few rats, misc. dogs, and a group of beagles are not highly conditioned racing animals and as such, it is highly likely they are not an accurate proxy for the effects of Tramadol (or other drugs) in their systems.

      I would also note some additional inconsistencies if your report is to be considered expert testimony on this topic.

      The cardinal rules of expert testimony, or any testimony for that matter, are to stick with facts – and with your area of expertise … and that your testimony and conclusions must have direct relevance to your expertise. And lest not forget the old standard … “foundation.”

      Lets start with the last …you cited Giorgi etal 2009 – the beagles study – and shared its interesting findings. What you failed to do was establish foundation … how this study relates to the present case … how a study of beagles is applicable to highly conditioned animal athletes. That is a significant distinction – one Mr. Craig has extensive first-hand expertise in.

      Second, your professional expertise here is narrow – toxicology … the effect of drugs in humans. You’ve also ‘reviewed the literature’ and gained some insight into the effect of drugs in animals.

      You’ve reported your findings and opinions, based on your specific listed expertise. Your findings, especially regarding the “handwritten note” are relevant and worth investigation. Again, while we don’t know if your claims are accurate or correct, they are relevant to your expertise.

      However, you don’t stop there. You make a number of additional statements, claims and conclusions on aspects of the case far outside any personal or professional expertise. Moreover, you present them as “opinions” … which runs afoul of the “fact” rule for professional testimony.

      A few might be considered legitimate professional opinions, within your area of expertise – testing protocols, and your opinions on clearance rates in urine, as examples.

      However, you also make conclusions such as finding cause “based on the findings” of your report to ‘investigate a deliberate attempt to compromise the Iditarod’ and a ‘review of security measures for the integrity of the Iditarod and the safety of the dogs and mushers.

      While these may be admirable ideas they are entirely outside your professional expertise and qualifications, and there is no foundation within your report to sustain these statements.

      These comments cross into one of my areas of expertise – media and public relations – and the purpose of their inclusion is clear … to use your credentials as an “expert” to add validity to claims far outside your professional expertise … to create a “perception” not supported by the facts in your report.

      However noble your intentions may be, and however credible your credentials, my experienced opinion is these actions only serve to lessen the credibility of your claims, and harm, rather than help.

      • Sorry to hear your comments. My 7 page summary is a quick note from my 42 page Curriculum vitae. This report is written in simple terms compared to the 60 to 100 page reports for litigation. Mechanistic toxicology involves complex cellular and molecular toxicology and enzyme systems. My litigation reports are filled with the cellular and mechanistic literature. This is not learned from hands on experience. I have already addressed my expertise with animal toxicology in my first response. Since this is not a news site and is a blog site for people to vent on, it may be counterproductive to participate. My intent is to educate and assist all parties. However, you are correct, the battle of the experts will become the definitive end all if litigation ensues. I have participated in over 200 litigation cases and never been excluded. My methodology for litigation purposes is that used in the Federal Judicial System. I was hoping that by giving honest information to the public, such a process could be avoided. Discovery is just beginning and much of the documentary evidence has not been provided to me. The drug-testing policy has not been provided either, which should determine how results may or may not be released. I will not address that further as liability is in the expertise of the attorneys. I wish you all the best.
        Dr. Patricia Williams

      • Actually, Ms. Williams, this is a news site where the venting is moderated to the best of the moderators limited time.
        As you note in your post, this is not black-and-white science. Experts can clearly disagree because from all the literature I’ve read on tramadol in dogs (and there isn’t much as I’m sure you discovered), there appear to be a lot of variables – from breed to individual – involved in how tramadol metabolizes, and that is before one gets into the variables of hydration and physiological stress on dehydrated animals operating at the limits of their physical capabilities.
        I don’t profess to be an expert, but I’m not an idiot either.
        Questions as to your motivations in getting involved – as with questions as to my motivations or opinions or whatever in reporting on anything – are valid. I, in fact, consider them important feedback. It is possible for any of us to be blinded by emotion. If someone thinks I’m having that problem, I’m glad to have them make the argument.
        This case is not simple. It’s complicated.
        I’d certainly enjoy moderating a discussion between you and Morrie Craig if you two wanted to have such a discussion. My gut feeling since the beginning of this has been that the tramadol was most likely administered in the Nome dog lot by someone associated with the Seaveys to help the dogs rest, but Dallas Seavey denied that from the get go.
        I pushed Craig rather hard on why he couldn’t narrow the window for the time of administration. He made some rather sound arguments for why he thought that would be a scientific stretch too far. I won’t get into those because I’d like to revisit the dog yard where I have a very specific question you might be able to answer:

        Do you know who the unidentified vet working for Seavey was and did you interview him or her? The vet I’m referring to is this one identified by Dallas in a KTVA interview:

        Q: John Thompson: “How are your dogs? Did you notice anything? Did, uh, I mean…”

        A: Dallas Seavey: “In Nome, after, after the finish in Nome, um, we talked to another vet that we worked with in the past, um, and yeah our crew and that vet were working closely together ‘cuase they seemed (pause) down. And um, this, this was something that when this whole thing came up, it’s like;

        “‘Oh, now I see what was going on. They were hit with a heavy sedative.’

        “So we had them on heavy electrolytes. We were trying to get them to bounce back. Dogs that are usually very animated and perky aren’t wanting to get up and eat, um, something’s, something was strange.

        “It was a short window. We got them on the electrolytes. We got them on all this stuff, and they seemed to bounce back. It’s like, OK, maybe it was just a hard race, but I’ve never seen them finish like that, nor after the finish be like that.”

        The discussion starts at about 7:40 in this video:

      • Ms. Williams

        Craig Medred is a journalist, and this “blog” site is his publishing platform. He is well qualified to comment on most things Alaskan, and in particular on the Iditarod. My experience is Craig goes where the facts and evidence lead – even if it is unpopular. And that – to me – is a mark of a professional journalist.

        His job is to ask questions and search for the truth … often these days that can be a collaborative effort. Which makes this a perfect place to do just that.

        I believe your effort is honest, and seemingly well intentioned. I noted there are several points you made that are certainly worthy of further review. The questions asked of you here are generally legitimate and fair.

        My questions (and I believe Craig Medred’s) are, like yours, to try and ascertain the truth. Something that is often elusive when dealing with various factions and entities within the Iditarod world.

        The appearance is you are attempting to provide a “get out of jail” card to Mr. Seavey. His “people” are certainly using it as such. I do not see anything in your report that offers anything remotely close to proof, let alone definitive proof, that clears Mr. Seavey.

        You confirm there were high levels of Tramadol detected. Your professional opinion, based on your expertise and review of literature, is that the clearance rate shows the drugs were administered post “finish.” Mr. Craig disagrees.

        You noted the handwritten notes about sample “- 014” … and that they would appear to apply towards the Iditarod Race Certificate of Analysis Report #17031713-014, with Client Code of E225586.

        This appears to be a 5th dog (as the other three Certificate numbers you listed comprised the 4 Seavey dogs) … which tested positive for significant amounts of Tramadol, an opioid, and for Naloxone, an opioid inhibitor.

        You wrote: “Naloxone is used for emergency treatment of opiod overdose or reverse the effects of opioid sedation in animals” – and that “Naloxone reverses the effects of ‘u receptor agonists'” – citing Brunton, 2006.

        This is a highly significant finding. The evidence can be construed to show this dog was given a significant dose of Tramadol. And that dose caused it to go into distress, whereupon Naloxone – the “rescue” drug was administered. What team this dog belonged to would seem to be a massive piece of the puzzle.

        A random dosing of Tramadol by an unrelated party would not likely be tied to having, let alone administering, Naloxone. On the other hand, a team or vet who intentionally administered Tramodol, and was somewhat experienced with it, would be highly lkely to have Naloxone on hand, and be aware of the symptoms necessitating its administration.

        The presence of chocolate could well indicate the delivery method. Most dogs seem to love chocolate, despite its toxicity to them.

        One might surmise the toxicity of chocolate is evidence of outside tampering – that no musher would knowingly provide a toxic food to their dogs, however, at an avg of around 50lbs, even a full std 1.5 ounce Hershey bar would have no adverse effect on an Iditarod dog. Which would make it a good way for a musher to get the dogs to consume the drugs.

        This 5th dog’s doping must be addressed by the Iditarod immediately in my opinion.

        Now lets take a look at another of your claims.

        Your position, as I see it, is that you believe – based on your review of the literature – that the metabolization of Tramadol is much faster than the up to 15 hours noted by Mr. Craig. That you believe the rate is closer to 2 to 4 hours. For that determination you cite Georgi et al 2009 – the beagle study, KuKanich et al 2011 – with greyhounds, and Saccomanni et al 2010 – which again uses beagles (and Georgi was a co-author on.)

        Beagles weigh on average appx 25 lbs. Greyhounds in KuKanich weighed 50 – 90 lbs. In Giorgi and Saccomanni a “single oral dose of tramadol (4mg/kg)” was administered to the beagles. In Kukanich a “mean dose of 9.9 mg of tramadol HCl/kg” was administered. A review of Giorgi also shows the dogs were given the Tramadol “after fasting for 12 hours overnite.”

        Your notes show Tramadol was detected in plasma in Giorgi (and presumably the near identical Saccomanni) from “5 minutes to 10 hours.” A review of your Giorgi Figure 3 shows a similar presence of Tramadol in urine samples at 8 hours or more.

        KuKanich found “a significant increase in pain-pressure thresholds was evident 5 and 6 hours after administration” indicated a clear presence in the blood, and their findings supported that. Tramadol was detected in urine at 5 days.

        A read of Perez 2016 seems to show yet another related issue – that metabolism of Tramadol “…in the intestinal mucosa could also influence circulating concentrations of M1 and M2 through first-pass metabolism after oral administration of tramadol.”

        An Iditarod sled dog weighs appx 50 lbs. Setting aside that you did not address the significantly differing dosages/kg between Gorgi/Saccomanni and KuKanich, you also failed to address the significant differences in metabolism between an avg ~25lb, largely sedentary beagle, an up to 90 lb greyhound bred for speed, and the appx 50 lb Iditarod sled dog working at maximum physical effort for many days.

        Iditarod dogs who are also consuming and processing large amounts of food while on the trail – who then were tested after 6 hours of no exertion – which even a layman it would seem could understand would affect metabolism.

        As a layman I may well be out to lunch … but I think these are legitimate questions – both for you, and perhaps more importantly for the ITC.

      • Ms. Williams

        I might also note, if we look at your Giorgi Figure 3 top left graph “A” – which shows the Tramadol levels in the urine … we can see that the ~145 to 237 ng/ml range found in the Seavey samples reflects levels found in the 8+ hour range … with the 4 mg/kg dosage administered in Giorgi.

        As Craig Medred notes, Seavey addressed that the dogs were lethargic and acting unusual at the finish. We can, I think, safely assume that at that point the dogs had already been dosed.

        Kukanich found “a significant increase in pain-pressure thresholds was evident 5 and 6 hours after administration” which, it would seem, would also translate to the symptom of lethargy exhibited by the Seavey dogs at that point.

        This 5-6 hour time frame of showing pain threshold effect, coupled with the presence iin urine samples of similar amounts as testing found at 8 hours and more, would seem to re-open the possibility the dosing occurred before the finish … would it not?

      • theobromine – is a diuretic – is it powerful enough to flush drugs out of a dog faster than without it? (and folks – it is DR Williams)

    • “Evidence of intentional doping…” – a far more logical conclusion is an accidental dose, either mistaking the pills or mistaking one of the blood tests for the urine test, from within the Seavey team, with the person responsible, for unknown personal reasons, withholding this information from Mr. Seavey. This works better IMO, than a ninja style attack on the Nome dog lot of a race that has never reported a positive before and conspired with Mr. Seavey to withhold this information for 6 months.

      • Releasing the results of a drug test to the public would depend on the WRITTEN AND SIGNED POLICY that should have been implemented with all mushers prior to participation in the race. In workplace testing that can withstand a court challenge, the Drug-testing policy signed by the individual being drug-tested is the cornerstone to prevent or win court challenges. That document would be for legal to review. In 1989-90, I worked with the Louisiana Bar Association to provide continuing education workshops “The Technical and Legal Aspects of Drug Testing” to assist corporate attorneys in preparing these policies. I did the technical aspect and corporate and plaintiff attorneys did the legal aspects. I was also hired to work with all school district administrators in Louisiana to do the same. Many laboratories were taking advantage of the corporate entities and not confirming screening testing rendering them liable for firing people due to interfering substances and not the drugs of abuse. The companies were not at that time implementing confidentiality of all the results as required by Federal Law and also by State Law once the Louisiana Law was enacted. I drafted the bill for Mandatory Guidelines for drug-testing in Louisiana based on the Federal Regulations for Workplace Drug Testing. I cannot answer what the policy says for the Iditarod drug testing as I have not to date seen it. You should address this question to the ITC Committee or ask a musher if you could see their written and signed policy, if one exists. It should be definitive about which results can be released and in what manner in the policy.
        As to the confusion of blood with urine, blood is red and urine is yellow and clear to cloudy. The urine samples were collected by Martha Dobson according to a memo that appears to be written by A. Morrie Craig and included in his letter of April 10, 2017. See page 8 of my report. She is described in the Craig memo as “on my drug testing team”. I would believe that she would certainly know the difference between drawing blood from a vein and taking pee for a urine specimen.
        Best Regards,
        Dr. Williams

      • the point I was making about blood tests being mistaken for the urine test was in regards to a designated handler administering the drug under the mistaken impression that all testing was done. close up, not so easy to mistake but from a distance at night, not impossible

    • Apologies if I missed this in the report, but does your analysis of the levels indicate mass doping, as in a cook pot, or individual doses per dog?

    • Patricia Williams: thanks for weighing in. i updated the story to reflect that you were not compensated. it’s good to see the Iditarod has fans at the other end of the continent. hope to see you back in Alaska again.

    • on another site the point was made that it’s not possible to narrow the administration timeline to this degree if you don’t know the exact amount of the dose given. your comments on this please

      • Pete Neilson/Bill Yankee: i removed some of the spin-doctoring debate between both of you because it was straying into a name calling competition. let’s give Patricia Williams credit for good intentions here and stick to a discussion of the fact (of which there are few) and the speculation (of which there is considerable on both sides).
        Ms. Williams assured me she doesn’t no Dallas Seavey. i’m wiling to take her at her word. her motivations here, as outlined in a personal email are simple and noble, and for those two reasons i’m sure she wouldn’t mind me share part of that email:
        “My only reason for getting in this matter is because I was there in the Iditarod and have fallen in love with Alaska. It is truly our last frontier. The Iditarod is so important to Alaska and I see trouble coming from organized individuals and from whoever is behind this doping of the Seavey dogs and the other positive drug testing results that have been discounted and not explained. Don’t worry, I do not give a damn what the bloggers think about my motive. I always choose the side with the facts. I have made it clear this is pro bono and have nothing promised in return. I did not guarantee that I could even make the call before studying the toxicologic facts. But the facts were there. It is sad though to see the hatred of the bloggers. All parties need to wake up and protect the Iditarod. This report is a consultant report. I do not know if there will be litigation. There is a small window of time to fix this. For the sake of the dogs and mushers, I hope everyone comes together to fix this.”

      • Craig, after sleeping on it I’ve decided to call bullchit on your reasoning for the censoring of Pete Neilson and my comments on the spin-doctoring debate yesterday.
        The only name-calling that took place was the original post by Pete that called Dr. Williams a “spin-doctor”, for reasons you’d have to ask him but I believe it was because she made him look foolish. At any rate, it was uncalled for IMO, and I then asked for his “spin-doctoring” credentials and further, when Pete then wanted additional questions answered by the Doctor I called him out for his behavior some more.
        Frankly, I’d be surprised if the Doctor does any more commenting here and she has expressed her feelings about the hatred of the bloggers that is certainly relevant to a few “deplorables” on here (they know who they are).
        I have no qualms about being censored on your site, for any reason, but I take exception to the bullchitting your readers as to the reasoning. In other words go ahead and piss down our necks just don’t tell us that it’s raining.

    • I’ve learned in life that anyone that hides behind a shield of diplomas and certifications is usually an arrogant blowhard. Such I suspect is the case with “Diplomate” Williams. Her opinion has not been peer reviewed. Until that happens, she, Seavey and Campion are just blowing smoke up our asses.

      • Jeez-Louize James! You are the only one so far who has suggested Dr. Williams is hiding behind anything. We’ve had all sorts of catcalls from spin doctoring to being paid off but you have clearly pulled this out of your A$$. You’ve outdone yourself, here IMO.

  9. A Google search of Patricia Williams shows nowhere that she has experience with toxicology with animals. The 21 page report that Campion and Seavey are hiding needs to be reviewed by Morrie Craig at OSU. It’s called peer review. This show is long from over.

    I should point out that Seavey’s lawyer, Clint Campion, is hated by many Alaskans. When he was a DA he plea bargained and got only a 3 month prison sentence for Alexander Ellis for her killing, while stoned, high and drunk and driving backwards down a street, of cyclist Jeff Dusenbury. Again: Campion thinks 3 months is an adequate sentence for someone that takes a human life, and then drives away after they kill the person. He is a steaming pile of shit. And if Seavey is using him as a lawyer, it proves Seavey is also a steaming pile of shit.

    Gotta say. Stuff likes this makes me hope that Seavey’s vanity causes him to burn through all his money, his sponsors walk on him and he can’t afford to race the Iditarod any more. He’s a dirtbag, redneck punk and the Iditarod would be much better without him.

  10. The full 21 page report is available. Read the adn article and click on the link within the article on the words “toxicologist’s findings.” Was available as soon as the adn published their article because that was when I read it.

  11. Not too hard to buy off a scientist that will spin data in your favour…just take a look at Big Pharma companies and the stuff they release.
    The “Master of Disaster” Sam from San Fran is on this one…I am sure more press releases will follow.

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