Idiatrod head race official stepping down after 25 years

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The longtime head of Alaska’s 1,000-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is resigning in mid-January after 25 years on the job.

Iditarod Trail Committee CEO Stan Hooley, 61, said Thursday he is leaving the post he held since 1993 to take on a new opportunity outside the state.

Hooley says his resignation has nothing to do with the Iditarod coming off a difficult time for race organizers, who have faced the loss of major sponsors, financial hardships and the first-ever dog doping scandal.

Earlier this month, race officials cleared four-time champion Dallas Seavey, a former U.S. Olympic Education Center athlete at Northern Michigan University, of any wrongdoing in a dog-doping scandal that followed the sled dog race last year.