Laura Donnellan (School of Law) discusses the Iditarod race in Alaska and greyhound racing in Ireland and the rules around doping and animals in sport.
Described as the great last race, Iditarod is a 1000-mile race which takes place in Alaska each year in March. The winner is decided by the nose of the first dog reaching the finish line, while the person driving the sled, who is called a musher, must meet a number of criteria in order to be permitted to participate, including completing two 300 mile qualifiers and another approved qualifier and have completed 750 miles in total. The musher may have a maximum of 16 dogs, at least 12 must start and a minimum of five must complete the race.
At the end of October, the Iditarod Trail Committee (ITC) announced that four dogs had tested positive after the 2017 race for the prohibited substance, Tramadol, an opioid painkiller. The anti-doping provisions were introduced in 1994 and this was the first time that a doping offence had been committed.
The full piece can be read at www.rte.ie/eile/brainstorm/2017/1123/922361-shaggy-dog-stories/