WASILLA, ALASKA – The Iditarod Trail Committee Board of Directors convened a special board meeting on Friday, May 18 to hear the findings of an independent investigation conducted by the Anchorage law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine related to allegations that Ramy Brooks abused members of his team in Golovin on March 15, 2007. The Board issued the following statement;
Today is a difficult day for all of us. But what it does do is provide us with some closure after 2 difficult months. It’s been a difficult time for the people of Golovin, the Iditarod Trail Committee, Ramy Brooks and his family.
The Board would like to recognize the Race Marshal and Judges swift and decisive action during the actual race in regard to disqualifying Ramy for the 2007 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race after he admitted to striking his team with trail marking lathe.
We would also like to take this time to thank the witnesses in the community of Golovin are thanked for their courage to come forward, their concern, and their contact with us. We would also like to recognize that Ramy Brooks has been cooperative throughout this entire investigation process.
It is important that all sponsors, fans and volunteers know that dog abuse will not be tolerated in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. It is always disappointing and regrettable that any action on or off the trail might result in any discomfort or pain to any dog. We must, and we will continue to strive to ensure the safety and well being of every Iditarod canine athlete.
The independent Investigation requested by the Iditarod Trail Committee revealed the following facts:
There is testimony that Ramy Brooks struck his dogs with his fists and his feet. Those allegations continue to be disputed by Mr. Brooks.
There is no credible evidence that Ramy Brooks ever struck any dog with a chain as was initially alleged.
There is no question that an incident occurred at Golovin in which Ramy Brooks struck his dogs with trail marking lathe. That action warranted both disqualification and additional censure.
Taking all the evidence into consideration the Iditarod Trail Committee has reached the following decision. Ramy Brooks, for his actions on the trail during the 2007 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race will be censured as follows:
a) Ramy Brooks has been suspended from running the Iditarod for a period of 2 years.
b) The suspension is followed by 3 years of probation.
The next Iditarod Trail Committee Board of Directors Meeting will be held on June 1st, at the Millennium Hotel in Anchorage Alaska. It is scheduled to begin at 9am. The public is welcome to attend.