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Iditarod Disqualifies Sass

Brent Sass and leaders Slater (L) and Ace
Dan Bross
Brent Sass after winning the 2024 Yukon Quest Alaska 300 in Central earlier this month.

(Fairbanks, Ak.) 2022 Iditarod champion Brent Sass has been disqualified from this year’s race.

According to a one sentence release issued late last night (Thurs), the Iditarod Trail Committee Board convened a special meeting yesterday (Thurs) and voted unanimously to disqualify Sass from competing in the 2024 race.

It says the decision is pursuant to Rule 53 which states QUOTE: “All Iditarod mushers will be held to a high standard of personal and professional conduct.”

An Alaska court records search for Sass shows 3 long closed non-criminal cases.

Sass is the second musher this week to be disqualified from the Iditarod.

The board issued a brief statement Monday announcing the disqualification of 2023 rookie of the year Eddie Burke Junior, also citing the conduct rule.

Burke was facing assault charges related to a 2022 domestic violence incident, but court records show they were dropped by the prosecution yesterday (Thurs), and the Iditarod announced today (Fri) that it had reinstated Burke.

A message to 2024 Iditarod mushers prior to this week’s disqualification actions said the ITC board had been informed about QUOTE: “a number of accusations being made within our community concerning violence and abuse against women.” UNQUOTE

It did not name any mushers.

Sass did not respond to a request for comment today (Fri), but in a Facebook post, said QUOTE: “The anonymous accusations that have been made against me are completely false.”

He also shared a statement he says he sent to the Iditarod board. It says the accusations have been QUOTE: “fabricated to try and ruin my reputation and end my career” UNQUOTE, and that he intends to fight them.

In regard to his disqualification, Sass says QUOTE: “You are giving the accusers exactly what they are hoping for and in the end this hurts the actual victims of sexual abuse and the sport of mushing.” ###