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AFL bans Dons from 'competitive drills'

ESSENDON players will remain in limbo until four days before the club's season opener, with their fate to be revealed by the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal on March 31.
 
The Bombers have up to 18 players on their list facing possible suspensions arising from the club's 2012 supplements program, casting doubt over the make-up of the club's round one line-up.
 
Essendon fielded 13 top-up players in its NAB Challenge clash against St Kilda last Saturday, and those reinforcements may be required for the season proper if suspensions are announced on the eve of the new season.
 
The AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal chairman David Jones announced his intention to reveal the panel's finding in a brief statement on Friday morning.
 
"The place and time will be advised shortly," he said.
 
After ruling against media access to hearings into the charges against 34 past and present players and Stephen Dank, Jones promised he would release the findings of the tribunal publicly.
 
The hearings, which began late last year, were held in a room at the Victorian County Court building.
 
Jones was joined on his panel by John Nixon and Wayne Henwood.
 
No matter which way the findings go there is a legitimate chance of an appeal.
 
The charged players, who are still playing at Essendon and with other clubs, will remain provisionally suspended for the rest of the NAB Challenge.
 
If the outcome goes in the players' favour they will be available for round one.

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