WADA given more time to prepare appeal

Essendon remain hopeful of a swift resolution to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s appeal despite a 45-day extension granted to WADA by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

WADA was due to make a submission to CAS last Friday, but was granted the extra time to build its case as it attempts to successfully appeal the AFL anti-doping tribunal’s verdict clearing 34 past and present Essendon players of using banned substances.

The Bombers have been clear in their desire to have the matter handled as quickly as possible, but chief executive Xavier Campbell is confident the latest development in the long-running saga won’t extend the appeal unnecessarily.

“Twenty-one days to basically build your case, put it together with a pretty significant overview of your evidence, witnesses you’re relying on and things like that is a relatively short period of time,” Campbell said of WADA’s decision to ask for an extension.

“But obviously the preference of the club and the players is to expedite the process.

“I think you would find that WADA would argue that taking the time now will hopefully identify efficiencies later on in the process.”

While the club was disappointed with WADA’s initial decision to appeal, Campbell is comfortable with the appeal process that he said closely mirrored the one adopted by the AFL.

“It’s effectively what I think will be the same evidence reprosecuted by a different body under a different jurisdiction and under the same rules that were applied by the AFL anti-doping tribunal,” he told Triple M radio.

“Same burden of proof – nothing changes.

“Reports around admissibility of evidence and things like that – everything was admissible when it came to the AFL anti-doping tribunal and the integrity of the process was pretty clear.

“From our side we didn’t have any issues with how that looked and the independence of the process … likewise, I don’t have any issues with the independence and the integrity of this process moving forward either.

“I guess the time frames are the one … if there is a frustration it lies with that.”

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