Brian Wilmshurst’s team leaves the start line of the 2019 Yukon Quest in Whitehorse on Feb. 2. Wilmshurst was fined US$3,252.10 — his race earnings for the year — after his team tested positive for a foreign substance. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)

Yukon Quest musher fined after urine tests positive for foreign substance

Brian Wilmshurst has been fined US$3,252.10

The Yukon Quest announced in a press release on June 28 that Dawson City musher Brian Wilmshurst has been fined US$3,252.10 by the Yukon Quest International Board of Directors after a urine sample from Wilmshurst’s team tested positive for a foreign substance during the 2019 Yukon Quest.

Per the release, “minimal amounts” of norketamine — an active metabolite of ketamine — were found in a urine sample collected sometime between the pre-race vet check and two hours after the team finished the race.

Ketamine is used primarily for “the induction and maintenance of general anesthesia” according to the release, and the fine — equal to the total earnings Wilmshurst received for finishing the race — is based on the possibility the exposure came from tainted dog food.

“The Yukon Quest International Board of Directors have (sic) made the decision to penalize Wilmshurst as it is the responsibility of the musher to ensure the team is free of all prohibited dugs and substances,” said the release.

The decision was made in line with rule 43, which outlines the conditions and restrictions surrounding drugs and foreign substances.

Contact John Hopkins-Hill at john.hopkinshill@yukon-news.com

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