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Lance Mackey - 2009 Iditarod Champion.jpeg
Photo: Screwed US
Medical marijuana patient Lance Mackey has won the past four Iditarod races. Drug tests were instituted last year — at the urging of jealous opponents, Mackey believes — but the champ tested clean. Now they’re expanding the drug tests.

‚ÄčDrug tests are back this year for Iditarod dog-sled mushers under updated rules that could now disqualify participants who smoke marijuana before — not just during — the race.

The Iditarod began testing for illegal drugs for the first time last year, reports Kyle Hopkins at The Tacoma News Tribune. Anchorage-based WorkSafe set up a makeshift drug-testing lab in a city supply room in White Mountain, the next-to-last checkpoint on the trail. Officials pulled mushers aside and forced them to take urine tests during their mandatory eight-hour stay in the village.
The top finishers all tested clean, according to Iditarod officials, including champion Lance Mackey, who believed jealous competitors called for the drug tests in hopes the throat-cancer survivor and well-known medicinal cannabis smoker would test positive.