Ultramarathoner Scott Jurek last week accused Baxter State Park officials of “vilifying” him and using his record-setting run of the Appalachian Trail to pursue their own policy goals instead of using the high-profile event as a way to help the park.

On July 12, Jurek broke the previous world record by completing the entire Appalachian Trail – which stretches 2,185 miles from Georgia to Maine – in 46 days, eight hours and eight minutes. The feat garnered international media attention for Jurek, a professional athlete and author who has won multiple ultramarathon events. But Jurek also received three summonses from Baxter State Park after he summited Mount Katahdin – the trail’s northern terminus – and celebrated his record with a spray and swigs of champagne.

Baxter park director Jensen Bissell followed up the citations with a stinging Facebook post in which he accused Jurek of bringing the type of “corporate events” that are incompatible with the park’s wilderness mission. Bissell also used the incident to highlight Baxter State Park’s concerns about the challenges of managing the growing number of AT “thru-hikers” finishing the trail in one season.

In an interview with the Maine Sunday Telegram, Jurek accused Bissell of spreading “flat-out lies” and of disparaging him despite his adherence to the “leave no trace” philosophy encouraged by the clubs that oversee the AT. He also said the park appears to be selectively enforcing the rules by ticketing him but not others – whether thru-hikers or day-hikers – who celebrate their ascent with alcohol.

“The biggest issue I have is they are using me and putting me in a poor light for their own goals, and there is no justification for that,” Jurek said.

Jurek disputed aspects of each citation. He acknowledged drinking champagne on the summit in violation of Baxter’s no-alcohol policy. But he said a member of his hiking group asked a ranger about the bottle before the hike and was told to keep it away from children and families. Jurek said he was unaware of the champagne until it was handed to him on top of the mountain. But he added that if rangers at the summit had advised him that alcohol was not allowed, he would have gladly put it away and waited to celebrate.

Jurek also questioned whether it was truly littering – the second citation – when champagne splashed on the summit when he popped the cork. Finally, Jurek disputed the citation for hiking with a group larger than 12 by pointing out that rangers signed off on the dozen people in his group before the hike. Instead, he argued that rangers later counted hikers who had spoken to him during or after the hike or who gathered at the summit when he completed the run.

Finally, he fired back at Bissell’s suggestion that he brought a corporate event to Baxter Peak.

“I happen to be a professional athlete and I am supported by sponsors, but it was not ‘an event,’ ” Jurek said. “I didn’t have a finish line … and what I was doing was like any other thru-hiker. I just happened to be a professional athlete who had a following and sponsors.”

Asked Thursday about Jurek’s statements, Bissell stood by the tone of his Facebook post and the decisions made by the rangers who were at the summit and down below when the summonses were issued. Bissell said he was unsure what would happen now, saying the law enforcement officers and prosecutors would handle any case.

“The law enforcement ranger on-site used his best judgment,” Bissell said.

A professional camera crew filming a documentary on Jurek and several other athletes were also issued citations for filming within 500 feet of Baxter Peak, apparently in violation of their media permit from the park. Jurek said the film crew was operating independently of his group and had filmed him at several intervals during his 46-day run.