Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) chief executive Ben McDevitt has slammed Essendon after 34 current and former Bombers players were found not guilty of taking an illegal substance in 2012.
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According to the Herald Sun, tribunal chairman David Jones informed players of the verdict on Tuesday afternoon.
ASADA had alleged Bombers players were administered with thymosin beta-4 as part of a supplements program during the 2012 season.
The ruling means the 18 players currently at Essendon are free to play in this weekend’s opening round of the AFL season.
McDevitt said he was disappointed with the tribunal’s decision and said Essendon had let its players and fans down.
“What happened at Essendon in 2012 was, in my opinion, absolutely and utterly disgraceful,” McDevitt said in a statement.
“It was not a supplements program but an injection regime and the players and the fans were so poorly let down by the club.
“While I am obviously disappointed that the charges in this instance have not been proven to the comfortable satisfaction of the tribunal, I am pleased that the tribunal was finally able to hear these matters.”
Both ASADA and WADA now have 21 days to appeal the AFL tribunal’s decision.
ASADA will hold a press conference on Wednesday.
The Essendon players will now turn their attention to Saturday night where they face the Sydney Swans in the Bombers’ opening game of the 2015 season.