The famous dog sled race Iditarod begins Sunday in Alaska, after doping scandals and the death of dogs tarnished its image last year.
Participants travel nearly 1,000 north of Anchorage to the Bering Sea for a prize package valued at $500,000. The winner’s share must be determined later, but he receives a new vehicle right away.
Race organizers have been criticized for delaying revealing a case of dog doping during last year’s race. In October, they revealed that four animals belonging to Dallas Seavey, four times winner in previous races, failed screening tests.
Dallas Seavey was second in 2017, behind his father. He did not pay for this episode, but does not compete this year in protest.
The death of several dogs last year also pushed activists to oppose this year in person. Iditarod had not been tainted by dog deaths for many years before that.