The Latest: 4-time Iditarod champ Mackey out of 2017 race

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) The Latest on four-time Iditarod champion Lance Mackey dropping out of the 2017 race (all times local):

2:45 p.m.

An Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race official says four-time champion and cancer survivor Lance Mackey is hoping his withdrawal from next year's race will give him a chance to take better care of his health so he can be ready to compete again in 2018.

Race marshal Mark Nordman says Mackey has continued to struggle with hand circulation problems that were partly blamed for him scratching from this year's nearly 1,000 mile race across Alaska.

Mackey could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

He was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2001 and underwent extensive surgery as well as radiation treatment and the loss of his salivary glands.

After returning to the sport he went on to become the only musher ever to win both the Iditarod and the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race in the same year. It's a feat he has accomplished twice.

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2 p.m.

Organizers of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race say four-time champion and cancer survivor Lance Mackey has dropped out of next year's nearly 1,000-mile race because of health reasons.

Race marshal Mark Nordman confirmed the withdrawal to The Associated Press on Monday after the Iditarod Trail Committee announced it on its Facebook page.

Mackey could not immediately be reached for comment. He started last year's race, but later scratched because of health concerns.

Mackey was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2001 and underwent extensive surgery as well as radiation treatment and the loss of his salivary glands. After returning to the sport he went on to become the only musher ever to win both the Iditarod and the 1,000-mile Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race in the same year. It's a feat he has accomplished twice.

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