The 34 past and present Essendon players awaiting the results of World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will have to endure an anxious Christmas, with the findings now to be handed down in January.
WADA decided to appeal the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal’s decision to clear the Essendon players for their involvement in the club’s supplements program in 2011 and 2012, with the Bombers hoping for a resolution before Christmas.
But a statement released by the CAS on Wednesday morning (AEDT) revealed no decision would be handed down before January 11.
With the CAS having deliberated since the November hearing in Sydney, Essendon was desperately hoping for a decision before Christmas to allow new coach John Worsfold to enter the new year with a clean slate.
But, despite the delay, Essendon chief executive Xavier Campbell said the CAS statement has at least provided some clarity for the players.
“We’re glad we now have some greater clarity surrounding the end date to this process,” Campbell said.
“This has been a very difficult period for the players and their families and also more broadly for our fans.
“We now await confirmation of an exact date for the decision early in the new year.”