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Brent Sass retires from dog sled racing months after allegations of sexual assault

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

Iditarod and Yukon Quest champion dogsled driver Brent Sass announced Wednesday that he is retiring from dogsled racing.

In February, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race disqualified Sass, its 2022 winner, just days before the 2024 1,000-mile race was scheduled to take place, over allegations that he sexually assaulted multiple women.

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

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

It was not until four months after the letter was sent to the race directors, at the end of February, that the Iditarod announced Sass's disqualification. The disqualification also came a week after the editors first asked the Iditarod about the allegations.

In identical posts on Wednesday on the Instagram and Facebook pages of his kennel, Wild and Free, Sass announced that he would be “stepping back” from dog sled racing and social media to focus on “new adventures.”

“My journey through life continues and brings changes with it. Big changes that I did not see coming, but which I must face like all other challenges in my life… head on and with a positive attitude,” the announcement said.

Sass did not immediately respond to an email, Facebook message or text message 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 dogsledding through a snowstorm and reaching the finish line in Nome just over an hour ahead of fellow Iditarod veteran Dallas Seavey, who won his sixth Iditarod title in 2024, setting an all-time record.


a portrait of a man outside

Casey Grove is the anchor of Alaska News Nightly, a general assignment reporter and editor at Alaska Public Media. He can be reached at [email protected]. Read more about Casey Here.