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article imageAFL News: Court finds Essendon guilty, 34 players suspended

By Larry Seely     Jan 11, 2016 in Sports
Melbourne - The news couldn't have been worse as the Court of Arbitration for Sport has found the Essendon Bombers Football Club guilty of using a banned substance. The verdict has 34 past and present players under suspension by the AFL for the next year.
Twelve current members of the club will sit the 2016 season out, including captain Jobe Watson, vice captain Dyson Heppell, Cale Hooker, Michael Hurley, Tom Bellchambers, Heath Hocking, Travis Colyer, Michael Hibberd, Ben Howlett, David Myers, Brent Stanton and Tayte Pears.
Five others playing with other clubs will also miss the upcoming season. They include Jake Carlisle of St Kilda, Stewart Crameri of the Western Bulldogs, Jake Melksham of Melbourne, Angus Monfries and Patrick Ryder of Port Adelaide.
Mark McVeigh and Brent Prismall, former players and now support staff with other teams are also banned for their involvement in a scandal that has rocked Australian Football and created controversy since first reported back in 2012.
The AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal found the club not-guilty last March, but the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appealed the decision based on information they felt was inaccurately presented and while the decision of the courts in Switzerland are final, players can make one last appeal top the courts on an individual basis and at their own cost.
Richard Young led the prosecution against Essendon, the same man that handled the Lance Armstrong case, which also ended with a conviction.
Former Bombers coach James Hird called the decision, "a miscarriage of justice" and was "shocked by the decision."
The league handed down penalties to the club in 2013, including a fine of $2 million and a loss of draft picks, but this decision will hurt the club on and off the field in 2016, but no comments have yet to be made how the Bombers will replace the suspended players.
More about afl news, essendon bombers news, Court of Arbitration for Sport, wada, james hird
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