Understandably, SP Kennel family, friends and fans want to know what Aliy and Allen think about the Iditarod / Dallas Seavey controversy. Aliy released a written statement to the media on October 23, 2017. The statement is here:
I will tell you that I have always known Dallas Seavey as an honest and upstanding Iditarod competitor. I do not believe that he is a competitor that would break the rules. Any rules. I have raced against him for 10 years. I have beat him and he has beat me. He beat me to the Iditarod Championship by 2 minutes and 22 seconds. I do not begrudge him. He beat me – fair and square.
I do not think that he gave those drugs to his dogs. Obviously his dogs were given drugs – but by whom or why? – I don’t know.
There are people in the world who truly believe that dog mushing is cruel and should be banned. Of course, this is far from the truth but lies can be told about any subject and some people believe them. I guess the question is: Are there really people radical enough to actually give drugs to his dogs in order to undermine an honest, hard working, good man? Crazy speculation… I know! But speculation seems to be all we are left with now.
To be honest, in Alaska we are a trusting and open armed community. We invite spectators to pet our dogs, we share intimate stories about mushing and we hope that people celebrate dog mushing and our huskies like we do. It is for this reason, it would not be difficult to have walked up to any one of Dallas’ dogs after the race or even during the event and given them a “drugged” biscuit or treat. His dogs, like mine, are incredibly friendly and are used to kind gestures and treats. There is no strict security around Iditarod dogs. There are volunteers who watch the dogs because they love dogs but they are not police. No one ever would have thought that true security teams would be necessary in wilderness Alaska? But… who knows with what people are doing these days. I do not know who drugged Dallas’ dogs, but it was not him.
After speaking with Dallas, the ITC Board and the ITC Staff, an additional statement is included here on our SP Kennel website:
Allen and Aliy believe that there are not ulterior motives among the ITC staff or Board of Directors. Aliy is in the unique position of having served as a Director on the Board alongside this dedicated and thoughtful group of individuals who volunteer a tremendous amount of time and effort to serve in an often thankless position. The ITC staff is passionate and truly cares about the race and the Iditarod mushers. They try to do what is best for both. This… of course, is the challenge.
We do not believe that Dallas intentionally gave drugs to his dogs. We understand that he is feeling cornered and vulnerable. He doesn’t know who to trust. He knows he did not drug his dogs, but he cannot determine who did. This is an awful, unfamiliar position for a man who has dedicated his life to being an upstanding Iditarod Musher. He is in a no win situation.
The ITC Board and staff are also in a no win situation. The facts say that one of their most talented, well-liked Champions, had four dogs test positive for banned substances. But, the ITC Board and staff do not know who administered the Tramadol to Dallas’ dogs. Dallas Seavey has not been penalized or banned from the Iditarod.
Race sponsors and individuals who care deeply about ‘The Last Great Race’ are being asked to “take sides”. In truth, there are no sides. There is no “us and them”. Without the ITC there are no Iditarod Mushers – without Iditarod Mushers there is no ITC. We need unity in our sport. We need sponsors and fans to again have faith is the ITC Board, Staff and Mushers or there will be no race.
We, as a united group, should continue to seek the truth. Yes… there were mistakes made by all parties during the 6 months timeline for this incident. But, if for no other reason than the fact that four Iditarod dogs were illegally drugged, we need to work together to make sure this cannot happen again.
Allen and Aliy are willing to work together with any and all parties concerned to resolve this issue for the benefit of the Iditarod, Dallas Seavey, Race Sponsors, Volunteers, all the concerned fans, sled dog lovers around the world and every one of us at SP Kennel.