The Essendon Bombers of the Australian Football League will likely not be playing next season. That’s because pretty much the entire team–including 22 players no longer with the squad–were found guilty on doping charges after they lost an appeal this week. Here’s more from The Guardian:
Thirty-four past and present players of Essendon football club have been found guilty of doping charges after an appeal from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (Wada). Most of the 34 players – 12 of whom remain on Essendon’s books – will be unavailable for the entire 2016 season due to suspension. Reaction to Essendon doping verdict: ‘a miscarriage of justice, ‘ says James Hird
The players were initially cleared of the charges but Wada appealed in the court of arbitration in Sydney. The appeal has been upheld. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) issued a statement announcing its decision early on Tuesday morning. It later released the full judgment. “The panel found to its comfortable satisfaction that … the AFL Doping Code (use of a prohibited substance) has been violated and found by a majority that all players were significantly at fault. “The appeal filed by Wada against the Australian Football League (AFL) Anti-Doping Tribunal’s decision of 31 March 2015 is upheld and the appealed decision is set aside.
“The 34 players concerned are sanctioned with a period of ineligibility of two years, commencing on 31 March 2015, with credit given for any individual period of ineligibility already served. Thus, most of the suspensions will come to an end in November 2016.”
If you’ve never seen Australian Rules Football, here’s a video of some highlights from a recent Essendon game.