Brent Sass says he’s stepping away from sled dog racing

Musher Brent Sass, a repeat Yukon Quest winner and 2022 Iditarod champion who was disqualified from this year’s race after multiple women accused him of sexual assault, said Wednesday that he’s stepping away from the sport.

In a post on Facebook, 44-year-old Sass wrote: “I will be stepping away from racing sled dogs and social media and focusing forward to new adventures.”

“This season has been unimaginable for myself and the dogs in so many ways but so has every year of my career in one way or another,” he wrote.

Hello all, This season has been unimaginable for myself and the dogs in so many ways but so has every year of my...

Posted by Wild and Free Mushing on Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Sass, who operates his Wild and Free Mushing kennel out of Eureka, in February was disqualified from competing in the 2024 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race over what the Iditarod Trail Committee described as a violation of its personal conduct standards.

His Iditarod disqualification came after the state director of Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates Alaska in November sent a letter to the Iditarod and other Alaska sled dog races referencing allegations from multiple women who accused Sass of sexual assault. The letter asked the races to ban Sass from competing.

The Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Public Media and ProPublica in February reported on allegations from two women who accused Sass of nonconsensual sex and physical abuse. He has continually denied the accusations against him, and has not been charged with any crime.

[Previously: Iditarod disqualifies former champion Brent Sass after sexual assault allegations]


Not all sled dog race organizers chose to disqualify Sass. This year he competed in, and won, the 300-mile Yukon Quest Alaska based out of Fairbanks. (He won the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest in 2015, 2019 and 2020.) Organizers of the Bethel-based Kuskokwim 300 asked him to withdraw from competition in this year’s race, and he complied.

In his Facebook post Wednesday, Sass thanked handlers, crews, friends and family as well as fans in his nearly 20 years of mushing.

“As my life’s journey continues it is bringing change. Big change, one that I didn’t see coming but have to face like I have all the other challenges throughout my life....head on and with a positive attitude,” he wrote.