Copper Basin marshal identify abusive musher

Posted: Wednesday, May 10, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Washington state man has been banned from the Copper Basin 300 sled dog race for life after he was positively identified as the musher videotaped while beating a dog.

Christian Clerc, 42, of Wenatchee, Wash., was also fined $1,000 for the animal abuse during the February race, said Copper Basin race marshal Jon Van Zyle.

The penalties come after a two-month investigation that included enhancing a fuzzy home video that showed a man hitting and kicking a dog in his team.

''We are a very dog-friendly race,'' Van Zyle told KTVA-TV. ''We have rules that protect the dog teams... and we are very adamant that we needed (the incident) to be taken care of.''

Clerc, long been suspected of being the musher in question, did not return a phone call Tuesday.

The ban pertains only to the Copper Basin race.

Clerc has been racing for several years in Alaska and the Lower 48.

He had signed up for this year's Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race, but was disqualified when he failed to attend a mandatory pre-race mushers meeting.

That meeting was held around the time Clerc's name started being linked to the dog-abuse incident.

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