AFL Suspends Players Guilty Of Doping Offences

Publish Date
Tuesday, 12 January 2016, 3:20PM

The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency, finding 34 past or present Essendon AFL players guilty of doping offences.

It's turned around the AFL tribunal's findings that there was insufficient evidence to punish players in relation to the 2012 supplements programme.

All players have been banned from the upcoming 2016 season, with 12 of them still signed to the Bombers.

Former player Matthew Lloyd said the players have already been through enough.

"Players have lost their careers, they've lost their livelihoods, the stress on the families themselves, Watson the captain was ready to retire because of what he's gone through."

In a statement, the club says it's digesting the decision, while the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority is supportive of it.

ASADA has blasted the Essendon supplements scandal as the worst self-inflicted wound by a club in Australian sports history.

The anti-doping body, a key player in the saga, predictably came out swinging on Tuesday morning after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld the World Anti-Doping Agency's appeal against the AFL tribunal decision to clear 34 current and former players of taking the banned substance thymosin-beta 4.

ASADA chief executive Ben McDevitt also had no sympathy for the banned players, saying they should have known better.

ASADA's statement also confirmed the identities of the 34 players.

Twelve of them are still at Essendon - captain Jobe Watson, Tom Bellchambers, Travis Colyer, Dyson Heppell, Michael Hibberd, Heath Hocking, Cale Hooker, Ben Howlett, Michael Hurley, David Myers, Tayte Pears and Brent Stanton.

Five are at other clubs - Jake Carlisle (St Kilda), Stewart Crameri (Western Bulldogs), Jake Melksham (Melbourne) and Port Adelaide pair Angus Monfries and Paddy Ryder.

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