Bombers agree to compensation for 18 players

AFL: Essendon will pay settlements to 18 past and present players who lost earnings as a result of the AFL club's 2012 supplements saga.

Thirty-four past and present Essendon players were banned for a year in January for anti-doping code violations arising from the supplements program overseen by controversial sports scientist Stephen Dank.

Law firm Slater and Gordon confirmed the Bombers had reached an in-principle agreement with 18 of the players but said the amount of money was confidential.

"These players were innocent participants in the supplements program," class action lawyer Patrick Gordon said.

"They were given assurances that all supplements they were receiving had been approved from people who they thought they could trust."

The Bombers last week revealed the supplements debacle had cost them almost $10 million this year in player compensation claims and legal fees, short-term player contracts so they could field an AFL team, and reduced gate takings and other revenue.

Meanwhile, Dank says his evidence at an AFL appeals board hearing over his lifetime ban could lead to Jobe Watson getting his surrendered Brownlow Medal back.

Watson was one of the 34 Essendon players caught up in the saga.

He handed in his Brownlow and it was awarded to Richmond's Trent Cotchin and Sam Mitchell - then with Hawthorn - last week.

Dank failed to attend Monday's opening day of his appeal against a lifetime ban for doping offences because of a "life-threatening" and "urgent admission of a family member into hospital", his former legal advisers emailed the appeal board.

Fox Footy reported that Dank vowed late on Monday that he still intended to appear and that Watson would have his surrendered Brownlow back by the time his hearing was over.

"Unfortunately players have served suspensions so that time can't be given back to the players ... but I think by the time we've finished this hearing Jobe will have his Brownlow back ... I've got no problems with that," he told FiveAA radio.

The three-man board adjourned the hearing until December 1.


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