Iditarod awaits dog abuse report

Iditarod awaits dog abuse report
Ramy Brooks takes booties off his dogs after his arrival in the Yukon River checkpoint of Anvik, Alaska, on the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on March 9, 2007.
WASILLA, Alaska (AP) - Officials with the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race are awaiting a report on musher Ramy Brooks of Healy.

Brooks was disqualified from this year's race after admitting he struck his dogs with a wooden trail marker in Golovin.

However, reports from people in Golovin painted a worse picture, with Brooks allegedly beating some of his dogs with his fists, kicking some and striking them with a ski pole.

Race officials are having an independent investigation conducted.

Executive director Stan Hooley says the race's board of directors will assess the report, then vote on whether more action is needed.

Brooks has denied the more serious allegations and says he is prepared to defend himself.

Hooley says race officials do not want the matter to drag on.

The board meets in Anchorage on Friday. However, it is uncertain whether the report will be ready by then.

Hooley says even if it is, it is unlikely a decision will be made at that time.

The board has a range of options, including doing nothing to handing Brooks a lifetime ban.