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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The 34 former and present Essendon players have lodged an appeal in the Federal Court of Switzerland against the CAS verdict. The club's insurance will pay all legal fees. The appeal paperwork has to be translated into French or German as those are the only two languages in which the court, based in Lausanne, operates. Club chairman Lindsay Tanner said on 3AW radio, "The club is supporting that. We feel it's the right thing to do. It's obviously very important to the players to clear their name ... ".

It is unclear what time frame there would be on what would be a final appeal. However, the current players are resigned to missing the 2016 season. According to AFLPA CEO Paul Marsh, their lawyers must prove that the process was flawed and treated the players unfairly and that CAS was wrong not to treat the WADA appeal as a de novo case, that is, hearing it for the first time. Marsh clarified, "... WADA should only have been allowed to appeal the unanimous decision of the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal on grounds of either legal error or that it was grossly unreasonable." Contrary to standard policy, the Swiss court will not allow cameras into the courtroom. Australian journalists could report on the proceedings from inside the courtroom.

Journalist Francis Leach said on SEN that the Swiss court cannot overturn the guilty verdict rendered by CAS. Rather, he said, it is about the process and whether or not it was unfair. He urged everyone in football to support the players, saying they had to exhaust all possible avenues available to them. The AFL has delayed a hearing regarding Jobe Watson's 2012 Brownlow Medal until after the appeal is decided. The appeal process could take the entire 2016 season. None of the 34 involved have given an interview since the CAS verdict.

Source: afl.com.au, sen.com.au

Article last changed on Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 11:30 AM EST


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