ANCHORAGE - Board members of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Friday met in an executive session before rejecting a bid by former champion Gerald Riley to run in the 2004 race.
Several board members expressed concern that Riley did not appear before the board, as he has in past years, to make his annual appeal to participate in the race. Instead, Riley, the 1976 champion, submitted a handwritten note saying the board's approval of his entry would be welcome.
Riley, who lives in Nenana, scratched at Shaktoolik, 906 miles into the race, on March 12 of the 2003 race, saying he didn't feel the eight dogs remaining on his team could make it to Nome.
In 1990, Riley became the only Iditarod musher to be banned from the race for life, after an incident outside of the White Mountain checkpoint, just 75 miles from Nome. He was later allowed to run the race under close supervision on a year-to-year basis.