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Iditarod explodes

wade marrs

Wade Marrs/Iditarod.com

This story has been updated and continues to develop

Charges of blackmail, an Alaska media cover-up gone bust and previously unreported doping ripped into the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Tuesday via social media and the partner of the president of the Iditarod Official Finishers Club.

 

Sophie DeBruin, partner of musher Wade Marrs, posted accusations on the Stump Jumpin’ Kennel Facebook page that Alaska reporters had covered-up information about one or more of Marrs’ dogs testing positive for drugs, and that Morrie Craig, the consultant in charge of Iditarod drug testing, had tried to use this secret information to blackmail the musher.

None of the information could be confirmed as of this writing, but it was all out there publicly on social media and a firestorm has started within the mushing community.

“More troubling are the recent communications our team has received in the past 24 hours from members of the press, stating that Dr. Morrie Craig has released Wade Marrs name in correlation with a second positive drug test without a formal release from the Iditarod Trail Committee,” DeBruin wrote. “We are grateful to the members of the press corps who have withheld this information while we wait for Iditarod to act.”

There is no corroborating evidence to support the statement, but there is some history of Alaska media cooperation with the Iditarod.

In this case, DeBruin charges, information was withheld to enable Craig to use the threat of  taking it public as leverage on Marrs. The charge would make some in the Alaska media complicit in the blackmail.

But if such an incident took place, it didn’t stay under wraps long.

Lidocaine

Around the time DeBruin posted Tuesday afternoon, KTUU-TV in Anchorage Tuesday afternoon reported that it was told by Iditarod that “trace amounts of lidocaine” were found in a Marrs dogs but most likely came from dog food, and “that’s what Dr. Craig said he was trying to relay to Marrs.”

DeBruin had earlier sent a press release to KTUU and some other Alaska media.

Lidocaine is a numbing agent. It most often used on dogs as a topical pain killer. 

The Anti-Doping Date Base lists it as a drug athletes use to “mask pain so that they can continue to train or compete when they are injured. This can result in making the injury worse or even cause permanent damage.”

But the drug is also used on cattle and pigs and thus sometimes shows up in meat. The U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2016 reduced the withholding period before slaughter from 90 days to eight days for both lidocaine and procaine, a similar numbing drug. 

Iditarod Race Marshall Mark Nordman in an interview along with Chief Veterinary Stuart Nelson and other Iditarod officials last month said trace detections of procaine used to be a problem in the Iditarod, but not in recent times. No mention was made of lidocaine.

Channel 2 said it asked Craig about Marrs’ claim the information was a threat and Craid said, “I’m sorry. I was sort of befuddled by that, and I still am because in no way did I threaten him and would absolutely apologize to him that he took it that way.”

 

DeBruin says Marrs was approached by the drug-test coordinator just before the Iditarod restart in Willow and this is what she describes happening:

“Approaching him at his vehicle and before introducing himself, Dr. Morrie Craig asked the others surrounding Wade to step away so he could have a moment to speak with Wade in private. Although the following conversation occurred only between Wade and Dr. Morrie Craig, multiple eyewitnesses assisting in preparing the team can confirm that no other Iditarod officials were present.

“In this private conversation, Dr. Morrie Craig informed Wade that in 2017, his teams urine contained trace amounts of a prohibited substance and if his ‘workings’ within the IOFC and specifically with Dallas Seavey did not cease, that information would be released.

“Wade felt that Dr. Craig was using this information as leverage for Wades silence regarding the 2017 drug testing at the upcoming Iditarod Official Finisher Club meeting in Nome. Given the issues that have arisen this year between the Iditarod Trail Committee and the Iditarod Official Finishers Club, Wade has felt that his role as IOFC President has made him a target for those not interested in the continued positive growth of Iditarod.”

The 30-year-old Seavey, a four-time Iditarod champ, is a friend and former neighbor of Marrs. He is in the midst of  his own doping scandal and has this year skipped the Iditarod to race in Norway.

Seavey, in the process of trying to defend himself against accusations he doped his team, released a lab report indicating there was a second doped team in the Iditarod last year that went unreported to the public. The Iditarod subsequently admitted to mushers that detections of trace amounts of drugs are fairly common in Iditarod dogs.

Normal trace amount?

“Every year we see 30-35 teams with these trace amounts,” the Iditarod informed mushers in a March 1 handout identified as a “Synopsis of General Summary of ITC Drug-Testing Program.”

The media was given a similar handout from which the reference to 30-35 drug detections per year was removed. Some reporters are aware of the discrepancy between the two documents. Though frustrated by the Iditarod’s obvious lack of transparency, they said they didn’t want to touch the subject.

The Iditarod is a revered institution in Alaska.

When Iditarod Chief Veterinarian Nelson was earlier asked for information the trace drugs normally found in tests, he wouldn’t identify them. The Iditarod has never explained how it defines “trace.”

Nelson admitted the race has no “threshold limits” for any drugs. Threshold limits are normally used to establish the level at which banned drugs should be considered “trace” or a cause for investigation.

Former members of the Iditarod Trail Committee Board of Directors have told craigmedred.news past doping positives were covered up and disciplinary actions conducted privately. One went so far as to express the opinion that is what the race should have done with the Seavey doping positive.

Seavey’s dogs were found doped with tramadol, a synthetic opioid, at the Nome finish line last year. The Iditarod kept that information secret for months as it tried to work out an agreement with Seavey on an explanation for how the doping happened.

Iditarod has never fully revealed what took place out of view. Seavey has said he was led to believe he was in the clear. The record shows only that the Iditarod at some point concluded it couldn’t take any action against Seavey because it couldn’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt – a very high standard – that Seavey had doped his dogs.

The Iditarod Board then decided to rewrite its doping rule into a “strict liability” standard that put the onus on a musher caught with doped dogs to demonstrate that he or she didn’t do it. The only reason noted for the change was that some doped dogs were found in an unidentified mushers team in Nome.

Dirty laundry out

Eventually, however, Seavey’s name was pulled into public view. The Iditarod has been in turmoil ever since.

DeBruin said she and Marrs have now appealed to the Iditarod to do something about Craig.

“For the protection of our dogs and mushers, we would like immediate clarification on how the Iditarod Trail Committee plans on holding Dr. Morrie Craig accountable for his unprofessional conduct,” she wrote.

The Iditarod later issued a statement saying it was “aware of a conversation about drug testing results” Craig and Marrs and thought it was “ill timed at best. ITC does not condone any threatening or harassing behavior by anyone involved with the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, whether it is ITC representatives, mushers, or other persons. ”

Race spokesman Chas St. George told KTUU that everything was “very unfortunate. The timing was definitely a factor in this conversation that Dr. Craig had. The message was probably informing about your dog tested positive, but that dog did not test positive, that dog tested well below positive, and I think that’s what Dr. Craig was trying to explain to him at the time it just was not the right time.”

Sophie said her family has been devastated by what happened. She apologized to fans for whatever they might have missed because of that.

“First I would like to apologize, some of you have noticed my lack of enthusiasm recently on our page regarding Wade and his race,” she wrote. “It is with my greatest disappointment that I share with you an incident that occurred prior to the start of Iditarod 2018…. a mere 30 minutes before Wade and our joyous team of athletes departed on their journey to Nome from Willow Lake….

“Wade, being the guy he is, is telling me it’s not clouding his mind but I know he is just saying that ease my hurt in this as well. Its gut-wrenching, putting your 100-percent focus into this world-renowned event and then someone deliberately trying to take that away from you. As I wrote in a personal letter to our kennel sponsors last night, Wade is no stranger to obstacles in his life. He faces them head on with the truth in his heart and this time is no exception. We ask that as we navigate through this public obstacle that we continue to have your endless support today and in the future.”

She signed it, “Sophie & Wade; #ironwade”

Marrs left Nikolai in sixth place Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, concern was spreading among others that if the problem is meat it could affect many dog drivers because, as one of them put it, many “mushers get their meat same place Wade does.”

 

 

 

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34 replies »

  1. Every day I give my old border collie tramadol. This enables my unemployed sheep dog to fully exercise. I kick a exercise ball out and she relatedly herds it back to me until she tires.
    I have pulled a sled all over Alaska and Canada and never used drugs. However if I had to pull a musher on my sled, I would use drugs.

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    • Wade, and I think three other mushers pressed the ITC to reveal the name of the second musher. I can see a scenario where Dr. Craig informed Wade that his dogs tested positive for trace amounts of a banned drug.
      Is it possible Wade is playing a fools game?
      The only person with something to hide was taking this on the trail with him, so I’m not sure what the hullabaloo is all about; it’s not like he didn’t already know the identity of the musher.
      With respect to blackmail…if this is blackmail then the ITC has been practicing blackmail for years. Still, this isn’t blackmail in an sense of the word and both Seavey and Marrs should be banned from the sport for life.

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  2. Craig–Dr. Morey is basically a glorified lab tech, and it most assuredly is not his job “to get a musher aside” and discuss the results of a lab analysis with them. To say that what he did was “shitty timing” as you opined in another comment is an understatement that is almost miraculous in terms of it’s magnitude; when he got Wade aside 30 minutes before go time at the re-start to whisper potentially damaging information to him with no witnesses present, information that could and should have been divulged at literally any point in the past twelve months, that’s not bad timing, that’s a threat.

    There’s smoke billowing from the house of the Iditarod, but it looks to me like it’s coming from the ITC to me.

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  3. Unprofessional—yes! Mushers should be notified of positive tests in an official document instead of in a verbal confrontation at a race.

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  4. Dr. Craig was either incredibly naive or indeed threatening Marrs. A professional conversation with Marrs about the drug test would include a 3rd party present to prevent exactly what’s happening now. This is an obvious step that should have been taken, especially considering the events of the past months and the musher involved.

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  5. “None of the information could be confirmed as of this writing, but it was all out there publicly on social media and a firestorm has started within the mushing community.” Seems to be an interesting way to begin a blog post. None of this can be confirmed, I’m writing about it anyway and will speculate throughout. I think , Craig, if you are looking to be a “news source” the expectation of fact based information should be the goal. Otherwise just put it out there that these are opinion pieces, not news sources.

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    • actually, Gina you’re wrong. there wasn’t speculation. there were a few important facts added to a one-sided story, starting with a.) what is actually know. b.) what we don’t know from what was published on social media.
      what existed was a post read by many claiming something along the lines of “the Iditarod is on fire.”
      what was reported here was that there is no hard evidence the Iditarod is on fire. we have a report that can’t be confirmed. this is what we know about that report. this is what we don’t know about this report.
      and here are some facts about the smoke that has been coming from the Iditarod building for weeks. this could mean the building is on fire. it could also mean somebody is burning crappy wood in their fireplace and/or has a dirty chimney.
      the expectation of facts is ALWAYS the goal. spend some time in this business and you’ll learn how seldom the goal is crossed. the ball, as in NFL football games, spends a lot of time moving up and down the field without getting across the goal lines.
      the most important “fact” in this story at the moment is that there is a firestorm within the mushing community. that made the story news because it’s a sad fact that social media these days sometimes cannot be ignored.
      Marrs and DeBruin did with Facebook what our President does with his damn Twitter account. would you suggest that the media, and the world, should now ignore all those Tweets?

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      • Actually, Marrs and Debruin first filed an incident report with IROD (sounds pretty official to me), after Dr Craig went around the ITC and had a private conversation under very ill-advised, unprofessional circumstances. He appears to have actually gone and released information to the press, without the knowledge of the ITC. With that all being done very publicly, what else would you expect Marrs and Debruin to do, if not defend themselves, Craig?

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      • Actually Craig I was quoting YOUR words. Possibly more information has come out or has not, but at the time of your relentless rantings of this article YOU weren’t even sure of your supposed “facts”. My problem with your “news” articles is that you take Facebook supposed facts and continue forth with a blog posts that states ” I don’t have the facts but I’m moving forward regardless” that gets shared with all the activists who like to ignore that you don’t actually have all the facts. I get that scandal raises money, but please get your facts straight before you decide to go on another supposed “factual” rant.

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      • yes, Gina; you did any absolutely perfect job of quoting my words out of context.
        the problem here is that you’re pointing the finger at the wrong target. if you have a problem, it should be with the original Facebook post not with a story saying: here’s what that post said; here’s what it doesn’t say; and here’s what little is really known.
        pointing out what isn’t known or what was left out of what is for all intents and purposes a press release spun out almost 48-hours after a conversation might be one of the most important tasks of journalism these days because there are a lot of people active on social media, and there are a lot of people being less than fully honest there, and there are a lot of “activists,” as you call them – and the Iditarod seems to be surrounded by activists – wired into social media and trying to spin, spin, spin things all the time.
        i would hope that you as one of the owners of Krabloonik kennel aren’t posting here in a try at the latter, but your posts do beg the question.

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  6. Craig, looking at this from the outside, I see the following:
    – Dr Craig, for all his professional accomplishments, is currently in a state of having been fired from a tenured position, for charges of sexual harrasments and *bully
    ing*
    – Dr Craig and his wife appear to have been found guilty in civil court (by a jury) of forging documents (among other things) in relation to financial matters related t
    o a trust they managed
    – Dr Craig seems to be in this interesting position of being in-charge of all the lab testing, *and* being the only person that can associated a particular sample with
    an actual musher’s name.
    – A conversation happened that appars to have been initiated by Dr Craig in what everyone believes is horrible timing, to discuss with a musher test results from a year
    ago that had not been released publicly. The other members of the ITC appear to have been unaware that conversation was even going to take place.

    At the very least, all of the above lends a lot of credence to Wade’s side of the story, in which he claims to essentially have been bullied by Dr Craig right before hi
    s race started. That anyone cannot see how unprofessional all of this is is simply baffling to me, and screams of lack of objectivity.

    That a person with Dr Craigs rather checkered status right now (none of which appears to be related to mushing, I might add) is entrusted w/o question with the ability
    to link mushers names to samples, *and* be objective in how those samples are handled, tested, etc., is also baffling to me.

    With respect to your reporting…you seem to have no problem at all throwing out lines-betwee-the-dots like “athletes in others sports lied about doping, and turned out to be guilty, so why would Dallas, or IROD, be any different?”….but then seem to be willing to ignore obvious points like the ones I stated above. None of it comes
    across as very balanced or objective at all, to be honest.

    So let’s just lay this out…..with the recent change to IRODs rules, mushers must shoulder the burden to prove they didn’t do something, IF a Dr that was fired from hi
    s job for bullying, and found guilty in a civil court of financial misdealings, says they must have doped….and there’s no-one else that has access to the information
    to be able to check his work?

    I have *zero* opinion on whether doping is, or is not, happening in IROD, on whether Dallas, or Wade, or anyone, was guilty of it last year. I do, however, see mostly
    taking-of-sides here, and very little balance or objectivity in pointing out the many ways in which this whole situation is super messed-up.

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    • Thad: what was one of the first words in the lead on that story? blackmail. i think that’s what you’re agreeing here. that’s the valid accusation and it was duly noted.
      what i have a problem with is the idea that Morrie Craig talking to a musher about a positive drug test last year is somehow unprofessional. he’s the Iditarod’s drug guy. that’s supposedly his job.
      indeed, his timing sucks. he should have talked to Marrs about this long ago. why he didn’t is among the many questions hanging in the air.
      as for the rest, there’s a whole lot we don’t know. we don’t know what happened inside ITC with any of this; you say it appears ITC didn’t know. that’s an assumption. i don’t assume. it’s that ass-out-of-you-and-me thing.
      for all we know, ITC told Craig he needed to tell Marrs at some point. who knows.
      we also don’t know what happened at Oregon State other than that Craig got fired. he took the university court. a judge said there was enough evidence there to take the matter to trial. that might mean we someday found out exactly what did happen.
      at the moment, he has been “charged” with nothing. he has been accused of bullying and sexual harassment. the accusations could be true; they could be false. no one has publicly seen the evidence.
      likewise, he hasn’t been found “guilty” of anything in civil court. civil courts don’t find people guilty of anything. Craig and his wife were judged to have misused a family trust. that stuff gets complicated. go ask the family of Don and Roberta Shelton.
      it doesn’t help Craig’s credibility in this case, but it also has nothing to do with drug testing.
      i’m not going to defend Craig here. i have no motive to do so. i don’t know the guy. but there has been evidence offered anywhere to suggest anything Craig has done in the field of drug testing – and there’s a long history there – was tainted.
      believe me, because i went looking. the guy has a long history in the world of greyhounds where there’s a lot of dope and more than enough money for bribery. i didn’t find jack, which doesn’t mean somebody isn’t on the take somewhere but would tend to indicate his judgments in the field of drug testing are sound.
      so basically what you have with all of the above is an organized effort to smear Craig with stuff unrelated to drug testing in an attempt to make it appear the drug tests are faulty.
      it’s an interesting distraction, but it’s a distraction.
      the issue here is with drug testing. is there some reason to believe the results provided by Industrial Labs are wrong? i can’t find any. the lab appears credible.
      if your issue is with how the samples were handled that would appear to fall on Martha Dobson and Laura Woichik, who collected the samples for Craig, sealed them and dispatched them to the lab.
      Dobson is a former teacher on the trail and an Iditarod fan. i haven’t spent a lot of time researching her, but i did do a little. she doesn’t appear to have a motive to sabotage anyone. and though i guess she could have been poorly trained and screwed up the test, the sterile collection of liquid samples of anything is not that difficult.
      i know less bout Woichik since she only just entered the picture in the latest release of Iditarod information.
      and as an increasing numbers of documents written by Craig emerge from within ITC, his credibility looks better, not worse. his reports are comprised in a straight forward and professional manner. there is no apparent bias. he outlines how, when and where samples were taken and by whom and the results.
      if he tried to blackmail Marrs into shutting up about anything and everything, that’s a problem. a big problem.
      but the scientific methodology for the collection of urine samples and the testing and the reporting to this point looks sound. so what do we know?
      we know we had doped dogs in the Iditarod, and that Seavey says he didn’t do it and that Marrs says Craig either tried to blackmail him or was rude. what Marrs hasn’t said, as far as i’ve seen, is whether he might have used a salve containing lidocaine.
      and what the Iditarod hasn’t said is how it concluded that wasn’t a problem. the Iditarod told me it has no “threshold limits” for any drugs. so how exactly did it determine that this detectable level of lidocaine was “trace”?
      was it because Marrs is on the Board of Directors?
      i certainly don’t know. do you?
      and this observation: “mushers must shoulder the burden to prove they didn’t do something, IF a Dr that was fired from his job for bullying, and found guilty in a civil court of financial misdealings, says they must have doped….and there’s no-one else that has access to the information to be able to check his work” simply displays a big misunderstanding as to how drug testing works.
      the actual “work” in question was done by Industrial Labs, an accredited and respected facility in Colorado. Craig’s role here is as a data analyst. there are now more and more people with access to that analysis.
      and if you’ve been following this, a toxicologist for Dallas Seavey has checked and challenged Craig’s analysis.
      she did not, however, disagree with the basic data, ie. “work.”
      and she agreed the Iditarod had doped dogs.
      so if you truly “have *zero* opinion on whether doping is, or is not, happening in IROD,” you are just deluding yourself. no one in any professional capacity, including Seavey’s toxicologist, has questioned whether there were doped dogs. there were doped dogs.
      the question that remains up in the air is who doped them.
      and when it comes to that, it would be simply bad journalism to avoid the long, sad track record of doping athletes saying they didn’t dope only to turn out to have doped. if there’s one obvious fact that cannot be ignored here, it is that when someone in professional sports says “I didn’t dope,” you cannot reasonably accept that as the stone-cold truth because so, so, so many have looked into the camera and said it only to be proven liars.
      i feel sorry for any athlete caught in a doping situation for that very reason. i hope Seavey is telling the truth. i hope Marrs is telling the truth. but i, sadly, don’t know that they are telling the truth.
      would any Iditarod musher dope to gain an advantage in The Last Great Race? i know some have in the past because a former chief vet told me. and i would suspect some are doing it now because Iditarod gave them very specific instructions on what drugs to get out of their dogs’ systems before the first, pre-race drug test in Anchorage.
      is there any reason for Iditarod to do that if it doesn’t believe some banned drugs are being regularly used in training? you tell me.

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      • Really? Have you read the ITCs release regarding the conversation between Dr. Craig and Marrs? You really have no problem reading that, and then inferring there’s some explanation for all of it that we just don’t know?

        Even the statements from other ITC members the other day infer an extreme level of confusion *at best*. A more reasonable explanation is that they were completely blind-sided by Dr. Craigs actions, and were trying to temper their responses until they had a chance to figure it out.

        In no professional sport does a single Doctor hand out verbal information about a drug test a year after the fact, at a race venue, after asking any potential witnesses to step away. It continues to baffle me how anyone can see that as unprofessional at the very least. A more reasonable view of that action would be of suspicion as going beyond merely unprofessional.

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  7. Testing labs never convey results directly to patients, in this case, dog owners.

    Lidocaine can be used topically for a difficult blood draw. And as stated by others above is contained in many topical ointments and on some bandage products. This was NOT a positive test.

    I think you’ve gone too far, Craig. Why you continually support Dr. Craig, in spit of what is known about him is beyond me. You have made up your mind and that’s that. And in order for me to judge your sources, I’d need to know who they are.

    You call into question Sophie’s and Wade’s story, but don’t question Morrie Craig’s?

    Given the fact that Craig has been banned from his own lab and the entire campus of the State University of Oregon while he appeals his termination from that institution in the courts (for harassing and bullying behavior) and given the fact that he was found guilty of misappropriating funds from an informed relative in his care, I have a serious problem with his integrity.

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    • Deb: and we know that this was not a positive test because the Iditarod “threshold limit” for Lidocaine is what?
      you are right that Lidocaine could be used topically before a blood draw to numb a dog’s skin. did someone take blood from Marrs’ dogs?
      and yes, Lidocaine is contained in some ointments and patches. it is also a banned product.
      the latest Morrie Craig reported released by the Iditarod to KTVA today and dated April 10, 2017 shows Craig suggesting the lidocaine at the levels it was found “might be indicative of it being used as a sav.”
      a.) do you disagree with that conclusion? b.) do you think it’s OK for Iditarod mushers to use salves containing prohibited drugs?
      these are the real questions. not Morrie Craig’s behavior, good or bad. that’s a distraction. the issue is Iditarod dog doping. and clearly Iditarod had doped dogs.
      i really don’t care about Morrie Craig. i do care about the science. i have found nothing to indicate Craig’s science has been contaminated by any other crap he has going on his life, and i did spend some time looking. he has spent a lot of his career in the doped up world of greyhounds and horses. no one there has ever suggested he was on the take.
      and i really am curious as to how specifically you reach the conclusion that a measurable level of a prohibited drug “was NOT a positive test.”
      clearly that is what the Iditarod Board of Directors decided, given that there are no written standards for what and what does not constitute a positive other than the opinion of the Board.
      Wade Marrs is on the Board.
      so is this “NOT a positive” because Marrs is on the Board?
      or is it “NOT a positive” because Marrs is a likable musher and thus it’s OK for him to use a product containing a prohibited substance? and if it was a salve, what did he use it for?
      again, we’re back to more questions. that’s what reporters do. they ask questions. i raised questions about the DeBruin/Marrs story because there were questions. they have reasons to shade it. Craig has reasons to shade it. ITC has clearly been shading things.
      what would you suggest, a journalist print only one side of he-said, she-said story without pointing out that really only one side was being fully told?

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  8. Many pain relieving ointments that are available “over the counter” have 4 % Lidocaine in them.
    Easy to see how a Lidocaine cream is used to treat injured and sore paws in sled dogs.
    If the paws are cut, or if the dogs lick the cream, then the Lidocaine would enter the bloodstream in small amounts and hence show up in a urine analysis.

    https://www.walgreens.com/store/c/walgreens-pain-relief-cream-with-lidocaine/ID=prod6290218-product

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  9. Just the millennial meltdown of the week. Mars and Seavey are just angry, self-absorbed young punks that like to pout and scream anytime they can twist things up and cause a fuss. Mars should skip the Iditarod and go with Dallas Seavey and race in Norway next year. Hopefully they will stay over there. At least until Norway kicks them out to Finland and the Finns send them to Russia and the Russians banish them to Siberia. Alaska and the Iditarod will do just fine (actually, a lot better) without these losers.

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  10. Since when is it ever appropriate for Dr Craig to approach *any* musher to talk about last years test results? that strikes me as not even remotely professional. Shouldn’t it even be questioned how Dr Craig can even associated a numbered sample with an individual musher’s name?

    To me, regardless of what was, or was not, said….the mere fact that Dr Craig even approached and talked to a musher about last year’s results is highly unprofessional.

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    • Exactly why is Dr Craig prohibited from talking with mushers?
      Does everyone have a gag order these days?
      ITC should look for a bigger bus…seems like Dallas is not the only one going under.

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    • Thad: exactly what’s unprofessional about it? i only ask because i see that being bandied about but no one says why. Craig is the Iditarod’s chief drug guy. why would it be unprofessional for him talk talk to a musher about a drug test? the timing is pretty shitty. i can see that. and i can see call Craig an ass for the timing. but what’s the unprofessional part?

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      • If I understand correctly Wade is a president to a group of mushers, and has requested to know who the second musher was that tested positive, or trace amounts, of a banned substances, in the report.
        Be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it, and Wade got it. With respect to timing, I don’t see a problem at all. I venture to say, we now have a pretty good idea how banned substances are making into their team’s food supply; the meat supply, given to the dogs-the musher himself at the last check point in the race.
        Credit should be given to Craig for outstanding investigative journalism, the ADN, KTVA, and KTUU are nothing but Iditarod lap dogs, and wouldn’t know credible journalism even if it bit them in the face.
        Alaska is a funny place were a thief can steal dividends because the state can’t prove who entered the data on the application. We know the banned drugs are in the food supply but can’t prove who put there. Gee, does the Iditarod and its mushers really think the world is that stupid?

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    • I’m having trouble, Mr Medred, even getting how you don’t point this stuff out. It’s hard to imagine how you as well cannot see the obvious lack of professionalism here, merely in the fact that a conversation even happened. Makes it hard, to be honest, to believe your blog is really balanced……

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      • same question, Bill. what’s unprofessional about the chief drug guy talking to a musher about drugs? i can see him talking to Marrs about any number of other things as being unprofessional, and i can see where his timing is a really shitty thing to do to anybody. but what exactly is unprofessional about the drug guy talking to a musher about drugs?

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      • What’s unprofessional about it, IMO, is that there is no record of the conversation other than it has taken place. It’s now a he-said question that will be difficult to get a handle on. Sort of like a phone call, which would also be somewhat unprofessional.
        The timing is just plain bullshit. I suspect the Dr. will get his ass handed to him over this, as he should.
        And by the way, Craig-tell me again how you determined that both dogs that had the mixed sample were doped. The OSU results give the amounts of the drug in all three samples.

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      • look at the N-Des, O-Des levels on those samples. the differences in the batched sample would indicate the levels went so high because both dogs were doped. it’s a logical scientific conclusion.
        but you’re right that it is not stonecold fact and that probably should have been noted in earlier stories. i will do so from here on out if it comes up again. thanks.
        and in my own defense, i will point out that this is one thing Seavey’s toxicologist did NOT raise as an issue. her analysis also seemed to accept the conclusion both dogs in the batched sample were doped.

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      • According to the OSU results for Seavey’s dogs, both single samples recorded approximately 254ng/mL for the parent drug tramadol but that for the two dogs mixed the amount recorded was app. 145ng/mL.
        It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see how one dog with similar dose as the two single sample dogs could be mixed with a dog with no tramadol could get to that 145ng/mL with only a slightly greater than half the sample being collected. My guess is those two samples were mixed in less than lab circumstances (probably just being eyeballed by the collectors).
        With the assumption that all dogs were given the same dose, there is no way for such a reading to be obtained by both dogs being doped. So………………….either the doses were varied, or one of those dogs did not have tramadol in its system IMO.

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