Dons supplements saga closer to resolution

Jason Phelan
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Dons supplements saga closer to resolution

The Essendon supplements saga has moved a step closer to a resolution with a timetable set down for the conclusion of the AFL's Anti-Doping Tribunal.

The Tribunal hearing of the cases against 34 past and present Essendon players issued with infraction notices, that began in December, will hear closing oral submissions from all parties on February 16 before adjourning "on or about" February 18 to consider its decision.

Legal representatives for the AFL, ASADA and the players agreed to the timetable for the conclusion of proceedings, in a statement released by the league.

The Tribunal adjourned until February 16 on Thursday, but as part of the road map to a resolution, ASADA will file written closing submissions by February 5, the players will file their written closing submissions by February 12 and the AFL will do the same by February 13.

While the Tribunal will adjourn to consider whether the players breached the AFL's Anti-Doping Code on February 18, there is no timeframe for the completion of those deliberations.

The current and former Essendon players issued with infraction notices are provisionally suspended from playing until the case is resolved.

The NAB Challenge series kicks off on February 26, but the Bombers aren't set to play their first game, against St Kilda in Morwell, until Saturday, March 7.

If any of the past or present players are found to have breached the code a further hearing to determine sanctions will then be scheduled.

In related news, Essendon coach James Hird will find out on Friday whether his appeal against the legality of the ASADA investigation to the full bench of the Federal Court has been successful.