AFL Player’s Association acting CEO Ian Prendergast has revealed that lawyers acting for Essendon players issued show cause notices by ASADA have formally requested an extension of the 10-day period they were granted to respond the notices.
Prendergast, speaking on Wednesday morning, said players would not respond to the ASADA notices until documents it had sought from the agency were provided.
He said ASADA had so far refused to provide any evidence players require.
Prendergast criticised ASADA chief Ben McDevitt's statements about discounts for players who agree to accept sanctions, saying this suggested that players had not co-operated with ASADA during the investigation into Essendon's controversial supplements scheme.
He insisted players have co-operated fully with ASADA since the beginning of the joint investigation run by the AFL and ASADA, and ASADA investigators had praised their frank responses.
Prendergast said the request was not a delaying tactic and players were keen to have the matter dealt with as soon as possible. He urged ASADA and Essendon to to take steps to expedite the Federal Court action over the show cause notices.
He said the question of discounts for sanctions was premature when no evidence of wrongdoing on the behalf of players had been produced.
The show cause notices for 34 players who were at Essendon in 2012 are the first steps in a process that could result in suspension for individuals of up to two years. These suspensions can be reduced if players are co-operate fully with ASADA and are deemed to have been duped by club medical staff.
Essendon's court case against ASADA's potential suspension of its players begins in the Federal Court on June 27.