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Posted: 2018-12-06 19:41:19

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Iditarod officials have cleared a four-time champion of any wrongdoing in a dog-doping scandal that followed the sled dog race last year. Officials for the 1,000-mile (1,610 kilometer) Iditarod Trail Sled…

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Iditarod officials have cleared a four-time champion of any wrongdoing in a dog-doping scandal that followed the sled dog race last year.

Officials for the 1,000-mile (1,610 kilometer) Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race issued a statement this week absolving musher Dallas Seavey of any involvement in the drugging of his dogs, the Anchorage Daily News reported .

Four of Seavey’s dogs tested positive for tramadol, an opioid painkiller and banned substance, following his second-place finish in March 2017. Some Alaska veterinarians have questioned why anyone would administer the drug during the race because it may cause drowsiness.

Jeanne Olson, an Alaska veterinarian who treats sled dogs, sees no benefit in administering tramadol during a race because it causes drowsiness. Olson, who was the head veterinarian in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race in the 1990s, prescribes it mostly for profound pain relief.

“But I also caution that the dogs are going to become sedated from it,” she said. “So when I first heard … that it was tramadol as the drug, I thought, ‘Well, that’s surprising. Why would anybody use that?’ “

“We met with him multiple times and there was (sufficient) evidence to conclude he didn’t have anything to do with it,” said Mike Mills, president of Iditarod’s board of directors.

Mills declined to say what that evidence was.

“It’s a hard situation to untangle, but we’re comfortable that we made the right decision,” Mills said.

Seavey said he presented a “very compelling case” to the race board. After the test results were made public last year, he had suggested that someone sabotaged his team.

“I can’t prove what did happen, but we can strongly prove what didn’t happen,” Seavey said.

Seavey said he

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