news | Animals

It's Not Just Humans That Dope, Iditarod Sled Dogs Test Postive For Illegal Substances

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Alaska Dispatch News/Loren Holmes

A team of canines have tested positive for opioids during the world's most famous dog sled race.

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, a long-distance race annually run in Alaska from Settler's Bay to Nome, saw several high-performance animals doped up on opioid pain reliever, Tramadol.

In a statement released on Oct. 18, the race's Board of Directors said the team was tested six hours after finishing the nearly 1,000-mile race in March.

It's estimated the drug could have been administered between 15 hours before the test and right before it.

Officials would not release the identity of the dog doping musher based on the advice of an attorney and the unlikelihood race organizers could prove the owner had intentionally administered the drug.

The Iditarod first began testing canines for illegal substances in 1994. Dogs on all teams are subject to random drug tests between pre-race examinations and also along the race trail.

There had been no problems, until now.

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