Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) boss Ben McDevitt has hailed the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for its verdict on the Essendon 34.
The CAS upheld the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) appeal against the AFL tribunal decision to clear 34 players of taking the banned peptide Thymosin beta-4 in 2012.
All 34 players - 12 of whom remain on Essendon's list, with another five now contracted to other AFL clubs - have been banned from the sport for 12 months.
McDevitt said the players had neglected their anti-doping education and, in agreeing to be injected without making inquiries about what they were injected with, were responsible for the outcome.
"This unfortunate episode has chronicled the most devastating self-inflicted injury by a sporting club in Australian history,” he told reporters.
"There were very little grounds for the players to claim they were at no significant fault.
"The players had received anti-doping education through the AFL and ASADA, and were well aware that they are personally responsible for all substances that entered their body.
"Unfortunately, despite their education, they agreed to be injected with a number of substances they had little knowledge of, made no inquiries about the substance and kept the injections from their team doctor and ASADA.
"Of 30 ASADA testing missions during the period in question, none of the 18 players tested declared the injections, despite being asked each time whether they had taken any supplements.
"At best, the players did not ask the questions, or the people, they should have. At worst, they were complicit in a culture of secrecy and concealment.
"The CAS result brings this matter to a close and ASADA looks forward to continuing to work with all sporting codes to promote a clean and fair sporting environment."
Essendon chairman Lindsay Tanner apologised on behalf of the club to the players for the events of 2012 but said the penalty imposed was unfair.
"The penalty imposed on the 34 players is manifestly unfair," he said.
"At all times, our players acted in good faith. They sought assurances and were provided them. If ever there was a case to be made for a finding of no significant fault, this was it.
"The individual blame game that has dominated debate...is in my view unproductive."
"There was a collective systemic failing and it needs to be seen in that light."
Tanner said the club respects the decision and will not challenge it.
James Hird, who coached Essendon in 2012 and has already served a one-year by the AFL for his role in the scandal, labelled the decision a "miscarriage of justice," while the AFL Players' Association boss Paul Marsh called the decision a "disgrace," adding: "We are struggling to understand how the CAS decision can be so different to that of the AFL anti-doping tribunal."
24. April 2018
|Buffon reaction to Real Madrid penalty ´understandable´ – UEFA president|
|Liverpool owner was ´bitching´ about overpaying for Salah – Roma president|
|The Spanish Inquisition - Bayern´s UCL hoodoo vs LaLiga´s big boys|
|Salah eyes Reds record, Roma´s away-day struggles - Champions League semi-final in Opta numbers|
|Liverpool Salah v Roma Salah: The Opta numbers|
|Jazz, Rockets move closer to Western Conference semis|
|Angels continue road-warrior ways with shut-out win over Astros|
|Raiders exercise fifth-year option on Amari Cooper|
|Bogut says NBA career is over after joining Sydney Kings|
|Dani Alves: I´d return to Barcelona tomorrow|
|No friendly Roma reunion for Salah, warns Klopp|
|Tom Brady´s agent expects Patriots QB to play in 2018|
|Spurs coach Popovich will miss game five against Warriors|
|A total accident – Durant responds to Instagram criticism of Westbrook|
|Horse named after Pats´ Gronkowski out of Kentucky Derby due to illness|
|White Sox pitcher Farquhar ´progressing well´ after brain surgery|
|Started from the bottom now we´re here! Wall says Drake predicted Raptors sweep|
|WATCH: Translator wins Klopp´s approval after lengthy response|
|Super Bowl champions Eagles planning White House visit|
|Swap spaghetti for burgers? Di Francesco not considering Premier League move|
|Allardyce hits back at style critics after scrappy Everton win|
23. April 2018
|Nothing to prove - Cahill bullish after Chelsea revival|
|Rybarikova sets up Halep clash in Stuttgart|
|Everton 1 Newcastle United 0: Walcott scuppers Benitez´s century celebrations|
|Everton debut ´virtual mascot´ before Newcastle clash|
|Karlovic wins battle of ATP Tour veterans in Barcelona|
|Salah? I can count on Cengiz Under – Di Francesco|
|Robertson ready for Crucible challenge after being ´hamstrung´ by off-table issues|
|Kings XI hold on for dramatic victory against Daredevils|
|´Shameful´ Bolivian side forfeit match at 7-0 down after fielding youth team|
|Henderson fired up for ´fantastic´ De Rossi battle|
|Klopp urges Liverpool fans to ´show respect´ to Roma|
|Juventus confirm muscle tear for Chiellini|
|Klopp key to surprising Salah success – Totti|
|Hartley to miss South Africa tour with concussion|
|Salah´s PFA award made more special by De Bruyne form – Klopp|
|Liverpool have earned the right to be feared, says Gerrard|
|Arsenal confirm ankle ligament damage for Elneny|
|Cubs´ Kris Bryant ´as good as can be expected´ after being hit with 96 mph fastball|
|Hector pledges future to struggling Cologne|
|´Crazy´ fans can help Roma knock out Liverpool, says Voller|
|Sharapova not short on desire despite struggles|
|South Africa to test unbeaten home record vs Pakistan & Sri Lanka|
|Kerr: Ginobili should keep playing another two years|
|He keeps getting better and better - Henderson full of praise for PFA winner Salah|
|Roma v Liverpool: Giallorossi have chance to write positive headlines|
|Prove you are the best - Povetkin promoter lays down Joshua gauntlet|
|Wenger will not be short of offers from clubs - Dein|
|LeBron hails Korver & Clarkson as Cavs square series|
|I may play the kids in the FA Cup next season, reveals bemused Pochettino|
|Simeone weighing up three-man defence for Arsenal tie|
|Kings wait for Bogut signing approval|
|Vieira refuses to address Arsenal rumours and Wenger departure|
|Cueto lowers historic ERA in Giants´ win|
|Spurs avoid sweep, Cavs edge Pacers|
|WATCH: Smith beats first-quarter buzzer with near full-court shot|
|Harden, D´Antoni hope Rockets regain top form|
|Man United star Pogba can win Ballon d´Or, says Ronaldinho|
|Silva loves me more than his girlfriend – Mendy|
|MLS Review: Timbers end NYC´s unbeaten start, Sounders claim first win|
|Flyers´ Couturier played with torn MCL|
|Emery praises PSG for maintaining motivation|
|Cavs´ Hill out for game four with back spasms|
|Oblak unsure over Atletico Madrid future|
|Klopp ready for ´different´ Roma test|
|Salah always determined to prove his Premier League worth|
|Landry earns first PGA Tour victory at Texas Open|
|City´s Sane named PFA Young Player of the Year|
|Salah pips De Bruyne to PFA Players´ Player of the Year award|
|Napoli bus spat at and insulted, Sarri claims|