On April 24, 2018, the Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race issued a censure to Hugh Neff due to violations of the Code of the Trail and Yukon Quest rules 35, 43 and 44 pertaining to sled dog care in reference to the final necropsy report of Boppy, a dog on Neff’s team.
The Yukon Quest received a formal letter from Neff on May 4, 2018 requesting an informal hearing, as per Rule 15.
The informal hearing took place over two days, June 14, 2018 and June 20, 2018, in Fairbanks, Alaska and was presided over by Informal Hearing Officer, Karen Loeffler. The third-party review board consisted of one musher, one veterinarian, and one community member. The members were decided based on a request from Neff to include mushers and veterinarians. The names of the review board will remain confidential, as per their request.
The purpose of the informal hearing was to provide Neff and the Yukon Quest with a full and fair opportunity to present their opposing evidence to a review board. Once the evidence was presented, the review board deliberated and made a decision.
After two days of confidential testimony, the review board concluded that Hugh Neff did not provide clear and convincing evidence to overturn the censure. The review board voted unanimously to uphold the Yukon Quest censure, which states:
- Neff will be ineligible to apply to race in the YQ300 and the Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race in 2019.
- Neff will be required to run the YQ300 prior to entering the Yukon Quest 1,000 Mile International Sled Dog Race.