After back-and-forth, Eddie Burke Jr. withdraws from 2024 Iditarod

Anchorage musher Eddie Burke Jr. has withdrawn from the 2024 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race following a week of back-and-forth over his eligibility.

Burke announced his withdrawal Monday on Facebook, saying he had leased his dog team to various mushers after he was initially disqualified from this year’s race.

“After being reinstated, it has been a challenge to gather my team back together and prepare for the race,” Burke wrote in the post.

He added, “After tough consideration, I have made the decision to withdraw from this (year’s) race and honor the agreements I have made with my fellow mushers.”

Due to recent events, I made the decision to lease out my race team to six individual mushers, competing in this years...

Posted by Eddie Burke Jr - Off The Rails Racing on Monday, February 26, 2024

The Iditarod Trail Committee noted Burke’s withdrawal in a statement Monday evening. His departure brings the field down to 38 mushers for the 52nd running of the race, set to start this weekend.

The Iditarod had initially disqualified Burke, the top rookie in the 2023 race, on Feb. 19 for what it described as a violation of the race’s personal conduct standard.

At the time of his disqualification, Burke was facing assault charges stemming from a 2022 incident. The state dismissed the charges against Burke last Thursday, and on Friday, the Iditarod reinstated him for this year’s race.


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Burke wrote in the post announcing his withdrawal that he had leased his team to six mushers. He didn’t specify which mushers would be running his dogs to Nome.

The Iditarod’s personal conduct standard factored into the disqualification of another musher this year, 2022 champion Brent Sass, following sexual assault allegations against him. Sass, who remains disqualified, has denied the claims and hasn’t been charged with a crime.

The 2024 Iditarod begins at 10 a.m. Saturday with the ceremonial start in Anchorage before shifting to Willow for the restart on Sunday at 2 p.m.