The Swiss Federal Court in Lausanne has said it will not entertain appeals by 34 current or former players of a top Australian Rules football team against the decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) – also in Lausanne – to ban them for two years each.
The decision could herald the final chapter in the sport’s biggest doping scandal, when players of the Melbourne-based Essendon Bombersexternal link were found guilty of participating in a systematic and highly dubious regime of supplements injections in 2012.
In January, CASexternal link handed two-year bans to the players involved in the scandal after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) approached the international tribunal for a resolution when the Australian Football League’s own anti-doping tribunal cleared them of wrongdoing.
The federal courtexternal link said in a statement on Tuesday that the players had lost their right to appeal the CAS ruling as they did not challenge the court’s jurisdiction during the arbitration procedure and had accepted the application of its rules.
“As a consequence, the Arbitral Award rendered in this matter and the sanctions imposed on the players remain in force,” the statement added.
The ban handed down to the player by CAS began on March 31, 2015, and most of the suspensions will come to an end in November.
The ruling left Essendon, one of the country’s richest and most celebrated football clubs, without 12 of their listed players for the entire 2016 season.
Australian Rules football (“Aussie Rules” or “footy”) is a contact sport that mixes elements of rugby, football, American football and basketball. The sport’s only professional league is in Australia. It has similarities with Gaelic football.
swissinfo.ch and agencies