Essendon saga set to impact WAFL

South Fremantle forward Cory Dell’Olio (3) with his South Fremantle teammates last year. Photo: Bryce Luff.
South Fremantle forward Cory Dell’Olio (3) with his South Fremantle teammates last year. Photo: Bryce Luff.

THE Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision to ban 34 past and present Essendon footballers for doping offences is set to have a dramatic impact on the WAFL competition.

The Court upheld the World Anti-Doping Agency’s appeal of the AFL’s anti-doping tribunal’s original not guilty verdict.

Peel forward Leroy Jetta, South Fremantle’s Cory Dell’Olio and East Perth captain Brendan Lee are all among the players caught up in the scandal.

All three players have been important parts of their respective teams and were rewarded by being named in the state squad for WA that took on South Australia last year.

Two of those players are part of alignment clubs, with Jetta’s Thunder aligned with the Fremantle Dockers and Brendon Lee’s Royals aligned with the West Coast Eagles.

Other WAFL clubs could be affected if Essendon pillage the league for top-up players to add to their list.

In total, 12 current Essendon players have received the one-year ban.

South Fremantle chief executive Stuart Kemp released a statement expressing his disappointment that Dell’Olio was not able to play.

Dell’Olio played 16 games with Essendon between 2012-14 before returning to South Fremantle last year.

“We are extremely disappointed with today’s outcome and in particular we are devastated for Cory who has been through so much already. We are still awaiting final confirmation from the AFL through the WAFL,” Kemp said.

“This has been a long, drawn out process for him and we are unhappy that it has ended with such a significant suspension.”

WAFC general manager football affairs Jon Haines said in a statement there was a significant amount of detail to be worked through.

“The WAFC will be seeking further clarification from the AFL over the coming days about implications for the WAFL and will be in contact again with WAFL clubs as more details are confirmed,” he said.