Essendon’s player appeal verdict to the Court of Arbitration for Sport will likely be handed down in November.
The news will be welcomed by the AFL, given that timing would mean the case – regarding the club’s 2012 supplements program – wouldn’t overshadow the finals series that ends with the grand final on October 1.
CAS secretary-general Matthieu Reeb told Fairfax Media a decision would be handed down towards the end of the year without dragging into 2017.
“On the basis of my experience of the SFT (Swiss Federal Tribunal) procedures, I would say November 2016,” Reeb said.
All written submissions are now believed to have been filed by CAS, the AFL and the past and present Bombers’ players, with no interviews likely.
All but three of the 34 players’ bans will end in November regardless of the result, while Nathan Lovett-Murray’s expires on December 15, and Alwyn Davey and Leroy Jetta are free as of February 15.