Sport AFL ASADA grants Essendon players extension
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ASADA grants Essendon players extension

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Current and former Essendon players issued show-cause notices by ASADA have been given an extension to respond to their charges.

The AFL Players Association confirmed on Thursday that the anti-doping authority had agreed to the AFLPA’s request to lengthen the response time.

The deadline is now July 11.

While players will have an additional two weeks to respond, it’s unlikely to mean their cases are heard after the conclusion of Essendon’s Federal Court action, the stated aim of the AFLPA.

The club’s legal action will be first heard on June 27, along with the separate legal injunction filed by exiled coach James Hird.

On Wednesday, AFLPA chief executive Ian Prendergast called for an extension and for ASADA to hand over their evidence briefs against the 34 players.

Prendergast threatened legal action if it was denied the briefs, though it’s understood ASADA has yet to respond to that request.

For the first time, the June 27 directions hearing will be broadcast on television, with the ABC providing a live feed of the court.

That hearing, and any information made public as a result of the legal action, is likely to be key to the next moves of all parties.