Why the Essendon Bombers doping scandal is a "wake up call for the whole game" of Aussie Rules

Rohan Connolly of The Age speaks to Off The Ball about the banning of 34 players

Why the Essendon Bombers doping scandal is a "wake up call for the whole game" of Aussie Rules

Picture by: Tony Marshall / EMPICS Sport

Australian Rules has been left reeling after last night's ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport that 34 past and present players were guilty of doping offences.

The players were injected with a banned substance by their club, the Essendon Bombers, in 2012.

It means that the Melbourne-based club will be without 12 first-team players for 2016 after WADA had lodged the appeal against the AFLs original decision to clear the players of any wrongdoing.

The AFL Players' Association has said that it's bitterly disappointed with the court's ruling, insisting that the players did nothing wrong and were unaware that they were being administered banned supplements by the club.

However, CAS say that the players were "significantly at fault" and tonight on Off The Ball, Rohan Connolly of The Age in Melbourne joined Joe to shed light on the fallout.

"I don't think there was knowledge at board level or administrative level. There was certainly knowledge at the coaching group level. So you're talking about the whole structure of a football club and basically that structure being dysfunctional and that's partly why this story has been such a wake up call for the whole game because clubs like to pass themselves off as being very professional," he explains.