Essendon’s drug supplement scandal has again hit the headlines.

The World Anti-Doping Agency is appealing the club’s not guilty verdict, just as players were moving on from the saga.

Sam Weston reports.

TRANSCRIPT

Two months after being cleared of drugs charges, the futures of 34 current and former Essendon players have been dragged back into uncertainty.

At three o’clock this morning WADA announced it would be appealing the AFL Tribunal’s decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

James Hird, Essendon coach: “All a bit shocked I think, think everyone around the club, everyone around Melbourne, sorta thought this wouldn’t happen but it has so we have to deal with it.”

In March, the AFL dismissed ASADA’s claims Essendon players had used a banned peptide because there was insufficient evidence of doping.

ASADA did not fight the decision, but welcomed WADA’s new appeal.

Bombers coach James Hird says he was shocked, but is confident his players will cope with the pressure.

James Hird, Essendon coach: “They believe they’ve done nothing wrong, they believe they haven’t taken anything illegal. We believe that, the AFL tribunal believes that, so it’s a distraction and we’ll get through it and we’ll prove our innocence again.”

In a statement, the AFL Players’ Association said it was extremely disappointed for the players, who will have to endure further stress and inevitable disruption to their careers.

Essendon are sitting 11th on the AFL ladder, and face North Melbourne on Friday night.

Sam Weston, QUT News.