On behalf of the Essendon playing group, captain Jobe Watson has made the following statement

“As we’ve said all along, none of us believed we’d done anything wrong in relation to the 2012 supplements program,” Watson said.

“We’ve fully co-operated with every part of the ASADA investigation and we’ve always said we’ve got nothing to hide.”

“We feel vindicated by this announcement and hope this helps confirm the faith of our supporters and the broader football public that, as professional sportsmen, we would never do anything to compromise the integrity of the game, our team, or our own values.”

“The last six months have been an extremely tough time for us and our families and friends, and while we’ve stayed focused on our footy, the speculation and innuendo has had an impact in some way on all of us.”

"You could never describe this experience as a positive, but what has come out of it is an even tighter bond across the playing group."

"Collectively, we’ve also been blown away by the support we’ve received from our fans.  Your loyalty has been unwavering throughout this entire process – thank you for believing in us."

"Finally, we’re very aware that this stressful process continues for our club. Our club and coaches have got our unqualified support and we’ll continue to support each other throughout this process and beyond."