The AFL Players’ Association welcomes today’s tribunal decision, in which all 34 current and former Essendon players have been cleared of an anti-doping rule violation.
We have always been of the view that these players have done nothing wrong and this has been confirmed by the Tribunal today.
This decision does not absolve the Essendon Football Club of blame. Players were placed in an unacceptable position that put their health and careers at risk.
‘We have always been of the view that these players have done nothing wrong and this has been confirmed by the Tribunal today.’
For over two years these players’ lives have been hijacked by this issue through no fault of their own, and today’s decision brings a sense of overwhelming relief and vindication of the players’ consistent position of innocence throughout this saga.
The players have withstood enormous uncertainty, public scrutiny and speculation over their health, their careers, and their reputations. This decision finally brings that uncertainty and speculation to an end.
I would like to commend the players for the way in which they have conducted themselves over the past two years. Players have honestly, candidly and transparently cooperated with the process and can hold their heads high that this decision has cleared them of any wrong doing.
We are relieved this matter is now closed and we, as an industry, can get on with the footy. We believe this matter provides an opportunity for genuine industry reflection to ensure this type of situation never happens again.
The PA will continue to work with the AFL and Clubs to do everything we can to make sure no player’s health is ever put at risk again in the pursuit of on-field success.