Players and fans have been left in disbelief after 12 current players from the Essendon Football Club were handed a shock suspension for the 2016 season.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport handed down its long-awaited verdict on the future of the club on Tuesday morning, upholding an appeal from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to punish 34 past and present players of the club for doping violations.
Former player, and club legend, Matthew Lloyd was in disbelief when he spoke to 3AW shortly after the announcement.
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“I feel sick in the stomach. I’m gutted,” he said.
“I have got really strong relationships with these players… their livelihood and what they have trained hard to do their whole lives is gone.
Lloyd said club captain Jobe Watson was “broken” and was reconsidering his future.
“Will we ever see Jobe Watson again?” he said.
Ex-Bombers utility Nathan Lovett-Murray did not hold back following the announcement.
“What a bulls**t decision,” he posted to Twitter.
“We will appeal it if we can – if not no footy or coaching for myself.”
The saga first erupted in 2012 and 17 of the 34 suspended players have since retired or been delisted.