ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – An Alaska veterinarian says an opioid pain reliever is the last medicine she expected to see when the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race became engulfed in the first animal doping scandal in its history.
Jeanne Olson, a North Pole veterinarian with sled dog patients, sees no benefit in administering the drug during a race because of the drowsiness it causes.
This week, race officials said four-time winner Dallas Seavey had several dogs test positive for Tramadol, a banned substance in the race. Seavey denies administering the drug, and says it could have been sabotage.
Olson, who was the head veterinarian in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race in the 1990s, prescribes Tramadol mostly for profound pain relief.
But she also cautions dog owners that the animals will become sedated from it. So when she heard that released that it was Tramadol as the drug, she thought, ‘Well, that’s surprising. Why would anybody use that?”‘