Sport AFL Bombers closer to AFL tribunal
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Bombers closer to AFL tribunal

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The current and past Essendon players suspected of doping offences are one step closer to pleading their cases before an AFL tribunal.

The Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel is understood to have placed the 34 players on the register of findings.

That potentially clears the way for the AFL to issue infraction notices against them.

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The players would then go before the tribunal.

The AFL Players Association announced on October 23 that the 34 players would not contend ASADA’s amended show cause notices.

They wanted the tribunal hearings to go ahead as soon as possible so the players had the chance to clear their names.

ASADA contends that the players took the banned substance Thymosin Beta-4 during Essendon’s notorious 2001-12 supplements program.

The only potential delay to the issuing of an infraction notice against each player is if he decides to appeal his entry on the register of findings.

He can go to the administrative appeal tribunal, but this seems unlikely.

It has been another week of landmarks in the Essendon supplements scandal.

On Monday and Tuesday, Bombers coach James Hird was back in the Federal Court to appeal against Justice John Middleton’s September verdict.

Justice Middleton found two months ago that ASADA acted lawfully in carrying out a joint investigation with the AFL into the Essendon supplements regime.

On Wednesday, after weeks of speculation, Mark Thompson and Essendon announced he would leave the club.

Thompson was interim coach this year as Hird served a 12-month AFL suspension relating to the supplements saga.

Thompson has so far refused to pay a $30,000 AFL fine that he also received because of the supplements issue.

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