Iditarod sled dog doping scandal prompts new rules for the race


For the first time, several dogs tested positive for a banned drug in the Iditarod sled race in Alaska. That prompted a new rule change by the Iditarod Trail Committee.

The committee said it changed the rule to shift the burden of proof for going after positive drug tests from the committee to the musher. The new rule holds the musher "strictly liable for any positive test" unless they can prove they had no control over drugs found in the dog's system. 

The committee board said in this case, it likely won't be able to prove intent, so it's unclear if the responsible party will face any punishment. All the drugged dogs came from a single musher's team.   

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The trail committee said it won't release the name of the musher "because of the sensitivity of this matter."

The dogs tested positive for Tramadol, a class IV opioid.

 The Iditarod began testing dogs in 1994.

See photos from the 2017 race

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Iditarod 2017
Monica Zappa's team competes in the official restart of the Iditarod, a nearly 1,000 mile (1,610 km) sled dog race across the Alaskan wilderness, in Fairbanks, Alaska, U.S. March 6, 2017. REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder
Trent Herbst competes in the official restart of the Iditarod, a nearly 1,000 mile (1,610 km) sled dog race across the Alaskan wilderness, in Fairbanks, Alaska, U.S. March 6, 2017. REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder
Dave Delcourt competes in the official restart of the Iditarod, a nearly 1,000 mile (1,610 km) sled dog race across the Alaskan wilderness, in Fairbanks, Alaska, U.S. March 6, 2017. REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder
Allen Moore's team competes in the official restart of the Iditarod, a nearly 1,000 mile (1,610 km) sled dog race across the Alaskan wilderness, in Fairbanks, Alaska, U.S. March 6, 2017. REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder
Jason Mackey competes in the official restart of the Iditarod, a nearly 1,000 mile (1,610 km) sled dog race across the Alaskan wilderness, in Fairbanks, Alaska, U.S. March 6, 2017. REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder
A handler for Monica Zappa at the official restart of the Iditarod, a nearly 1,000 mile (1,610 km) sled dog race across the Alaskan wilderness, in Fairbanks, Alaska, U.S. March 6, 2017. REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder
A handler for musher Cody Strathe prepares dogs for the trail at the official restart of the Iditarod, a nearly 1,000 mile (1,610-km) sled dog race across the Alaskan wilderness, in Fairbanks, Alaska, U.S. March 6, 2017. REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder
A handler for Michelle Phillips prepares dogs at the official restart of the Iditarod, a nearly 1,000 mile (1,610 km) sled dog race across the Alaskan wilderness, in Fairbanks, Alaska, U.S. March 6, 2017. REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder
Kristy Berington prepares dogs at the official restart of the Iditarod, a nearly 1,000 mile (1,610 km) sled dog race across the Alaskan wilderness, in Fairbanks, Alaska, U.S. March 6, 2017. REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder
Justin High, a rookie, competes in the official restart of the Iditarod, a nearly 1,000 mile (1,610 km) sled dog race across the Alaskan wilderness, in Fairbanks, Alaska, U.S. March 6, 2017. REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder
Lars Monsen of Norway competes in the official restart of the Iditarod, a nearly 1,000 mile (1,610 km) sled dog race across the Alaskan wilderness, in Fairbanks, Alaska, U.S. March 6, 2017. REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder
Monica Zappa competes in the ceremonial start to the Iditarod, a nearly 1,000-mile (1,610-km) sled dog race across the Alaskan wilderness, in Anchorage, Alaska, U.S. March 4, 2017. REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder
Dave Branholm's dog team races in the ceremonial start to the Iditarod, a nearly 1,000-mile (1,610-km) sled dog race across the Alaskan wilderness, in Anchorage, Alaska, U.S. March 4, 2017. REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder
Trent Herbst passes through the raucous "trailgate" party along the ceremonial start trail in the Iditarod, a nearly 1,000-mile (1,610-km) sled dog race across the Alaskan wilderness, in Anchorage, Alaska, U.S. March 4, 2017. REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder
Alaska Governor Bill Walker rides with John Baker's team in the ceremonial start to the Iditarod, a nearly 1,000-mile (1,610-km) sled dog race across the Alaskan wilderness, in Anchorage, Alaska, U.S. March 4, 2017. REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder
A team waits at the gate of the official restart of the Iditarod, a nearly 1,000 mile (1,610 km) sled dog race across the Alaskan wilderness, in Fairbanks, Alaska, U.S. March 6, 2017. REUTERS/Nathaniel Wilder
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