Musher who was disqualified, then reinstated, now withdraws from the Iditarod

A man with curly hair and a head lamp
Eddie Burke Jr. during the 2023 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

A musher who was disqualified from the world’s most famous sled dog race only to be reinstated days later has now officially withdrawn from this year’s Iditarod.

Eddie Burke Jr. scratched from the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, officials said in a statement late Monday.

Burke in a Facebook post said when he was disqualified that he leased members of his dog team to other mushers. He said it was too difficult to reassemble his team after being reinstated.

Burke’s withdrawal leaves 38 mushers to start the 1,000-mile race across the Alaska wilderness. The ceremonial start is Saturday in Anchorage, followed by the competitive start 75 miles north on Sunday.

Burke, the race’s rookie of the year last year, and 2022 champion Brent Sass were disqualified as allegations of violence against women embroiled the race.

Race officials disqualified Burke on Feb. 19. But the state of Alaska then dropped charges alleging he choked his then-girlfriend in 2022, and the Iditarod Trail Committee reinstated him Friday.

The committee disqualified Sass without explanation. Sass said in a Facebook post he was “beyond disappointed” and that the “anonymous accusations” made against him were “completely false.” No criminal cases against Sass appear in online Alaska court records.

RELATED: Iditarod disqualifies former champion Brent Sass amid sex assault allegations

Previous articleSouthcentral, Southwest Alaska to see deep subzero wind chills through the weekend
Next articleAlaska prison failed to provide adequate dental care to inmates, state investigator finds