Judgement day has arrived for the 34 past and present Essendon players involved in the AFL club’s supplements saga.
After nearly three years of turmoil, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) is due to hand down its decision on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s appeal.
WADA appealed to CAS after the AFL anti-doping tribunal found in March last year that there was insufficient evidence to find the players guilty of doping offences arising from the club’s controversial 2012 supplements program.
The players were accused of using banned peptide Thymosin beta-4.
CAS is based in Lausanne, Switzerland, but hearings were held in Sydney last November and Essendon confirmed on Saturday that the appeal verdict would be handed down on Tuesday morning.
John Worsfold spoke to reporters on Friday and said that the club was ready for whatever outcome transpires.
In sanctions handed down in 2013, the AFL banned then-coach James Hird for 12 months, kicked Essendon out of the finals, fined the club $2million and stripped it of draft picks.
The Bombers remain steadfast in their belief that the players won’t miss any games whether the appeal is upheld or not.
But if suspensions are handed out, the club could be forced to use top-up players from other leagues as it did during the 2015 NAB Cup when the players in question served provisional bans.
It is believed that only 12 of the 34 players involved in the 2012 supplements program remain at the club.
The rest have either been delisted, retired or traded, with Jake Carlisle, Paddy Ryder, Jake Melksham, Stewart Crameri and Angus Monfries all at Essendon in 2012 but now at other clubs.
Worsfold replaced Hird as senior coach in October after he resigned in a bid to allow the club to move on from the saga.