Brent Sass to retire from sled dog racing months after sex assault allegations

A man with two dogs
Brent Sass with dogs Slater and Morello in Nome after winning the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 2022 (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

Iditarod and Yukon Quest champion dog musher Brent Sass announced Wednesday that he is stepping away from racing sled dogs.

In February, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race disqualified Sass, its 2022 champion, just days ahead of the 1,000-mile race’s 2024 event amid allegations that he had sexually assaulted multiple women.

Sass, 44, has denied the allegations, which were contained in a Nov. 2 letter to the Iditarod and other top sled dog races from Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates Alaska.

Two alleged victims also told Alaska Public Media, the Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica, that Sass had forced them to have sex during otherwise consensual sexual relationships more than a decade earlier.

It wasn’t until four months after the letter went to the race boards, in late February, that the Iditarod announced Sass’s disqualification. The disqualification also came a week after the newsrooms first asked the Iditarod about the allegations.

In identical posts Wednesday on the Instagram and Facebook pages for his Wild and Free kennel, Sass announced that he is “stepping away” from competitive dog mushing and from social media to focus on “new adventures.”

“As my life’s journey continues it is bringing change. Big change, one that I didn’t see coming but have to face like I have all other challenges throughout my life….head on and with a positive attitude,” the announcement says.

Sass did not immediately respond to an email, Facebook message or text seeking comment.

Sass is a four-time champion of the Yukon Quest sled dog race, winning in 2015, 2019, 2020 and 2024.

He won the 2022 Iditarod after mushing through a snowstorm to arrive at the finish line in Nome just over an hour before fellow Iditarod veteran Dallas Seavey, who claimed his sixth Iditarod championship in 2024, setting an all-time record.

a portrait of a man outside

Casey Grove is host of Alaska News Nightly, a general assignment reporter and an editor at Alaska Public Media. Reach him Read more about Caseyhere

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