The Court of Arbitration for Sport has released a statement after their shock decision to ban the ‘Essendon 34’ in punishments that will see them miss the 2016 season.
The news, delivered on Tuesday morning, overturned an Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency (ASADA) decision made in March, 2015 and upholds an appeal made by the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA).
In the statement posted to its website, the CAS said the players, including those now at other clubs, would be made ‘ineligible’ for a period of two years by the decision.
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The period of ineligibility has been backdated to March 31, 2015, meaning most suspensions will last until the end of the 2016 season.
“The appeal filed by WADA against the Australian Football League (AFL) Anti-Doping Tribunal’s decision of 31 March 2015 is upheld and the appealed decision set aside,” said the court.
“The panel found to its comfortable satisfaction that Clause 11.2 of the 2010 AFL Doping Code (use of a prohibited substance) has been violated by a majority and found by a majority that all players were significantly at fault.”
The CAS hearings were held in November 2015 in Sydney, and heard evidence from some of the 34 players affected.
The decision will wipe out not only 12 currently-listed Essendon players from the upcoming AFL season, but also five players who now play for other clubs, comprising of Paddy Ryder and Angus Monfries (Port Adelaide), Stewart Crameri (Western Bulldogs), Jake Carlisle (St Kilda) and Jake Melksham (Melbourne).