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Essendon FC : 34 Australian rules players banned for doping




More than 30 players associated with Australian rules team Essendon FC have been banned after being injected with a drug to improve performance. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) has upheld a World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) appeal after 34 past and present players were initially cleared.

The players, including 12 currently registered with Essendon, are suspended for the 2016 season.The players were injected with banned peptide Thymosin Beta 4 (TB-4). The ruling was welcomed by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency (Asada).

The long-running case began with a 2012 investigation into the club's player supplements and sports science programme. The team's sports scientist Stephen Dank was found to have administered the banned substance, which promotes muscle growth. The Cas panel ruled that the players, including skipper Jobe Watson, Dyson Heppell and Michael Hurley, were "significantly at fault".Seventeen of the 34 have since retired or been delisted.