14 Aug 2013

Essendon charged after drug probe

5:49 am on 14 August 2013

The AFL has charged the top flight Aussie Rules club Essendon and four senior officials with bringing the game into disrepute after a six-month investigation by the national anti-doping agency.

Essendon, one of the league's oldest and most storied franchises, had been under a cloud throughout the 2013 AFL season as the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority probed its programme of supplements given to players in 2011 and 2012.

The Bombers face a hearing on the 26th of this month, but the AFL says its investigation remains open and further individuals could be charged.

Essendon's new chairman Paul Little says they'll vigorously defend the charges, though he conceded the club and individuals have made mistakes.

The club is expected to be fined and docked championship points if found guilty, which would mean elimination from the playoffs for which they've already qualified.