AFL players boss says appeals likely

AFL players association boss Paul Marsh expects Essendon players to appeal against their doping bans.

Marsh’s confirmation came in the midst of more confusion and argument around the long-running Essendon supplements saga.

Asked on Friday morning if some of the 34 current and former players would appeal, Marsh told SEN: “It’s quite possible – it’s quite likely, I should say.”

The players have until Wednesday to decide if they will challenge last month’s Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) verdict.

Marsh also took a swipe at Melbourne lawyer Peter Jess, who is representing former Essendon player Nathan Lovett-Murray.

Jess earlier had said he hoped the players association would help fund an appeal against the CAS verdict.

An appeal to the Swiss Federal Appeal court would be expensive and the hearing would probably not happen until later this year.

Marsh said his association had not funded any of the 34 players’ legal bills so far during the supplements saga and would not change that policy.

“Peter’s comments probably show how disconnected he is to actually what’s happening here with the 34 players,” Marsh said.

“He certainly shouldn’t be talking on behalf of any other player, (other) than Nathan.”

It was reported on Friday morning that Lovett-Murray would launch an appeal, but Jess said he would only do so in conjunction with former teammates.

Jess told SEN that Lovett-Murray strongly protests his innocence.

“That whole process was so fatally flawed that any right-minded person would say it’s just unfair,” Jess said.

“That’s my view and there may well be a little bit of emotional stuff in there as well.

“He wants to do everything he can … this is his last role of the dice.

“It’s driven by the heart rather than the head.

“The chances of success are on the low scale rather than the high scale.”

Jess said Lovett-Murray had asked the club doctor twice about the controversial supplements program in 2012 that led to the doping suspensions for the Essendon players.

Half of them are still involved in the AFL system but have been suspended for the 2016 season.

“Not once did the doctor come back and tell him (Lovett-Murray) that he shouldn’t do it and it was outside WADA,” Jess said.

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