Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) boss Ben McDevitt has hailed the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for its verdict on the Essendon 34.
The CAS upheld the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) appeal against the AFL tribunal decision to clear 34 players of taking the banned peptide Thymosin beta-4 in 2012.
All 34 players - 12 of whom remain on Essendon's list, with another five now contracted to other AFL clubs - have been banned from the sport for 12 months.
McDevitt said the players had neglected their anti-doping education and, in agreeing to be injected without making inquiries about what they were injected with, were responsible for the outcome.
"This unfortunate episode has chronicled the most devastating self-inflicted injury by a sporting club in Australian history,” he told reporters.
"There were very little grounds for the players to claim they were at no significant fault.
"The players had received anti-doping education through the AFL and ASADA, and were well aware that they are personally responsible for all substances that entered their body.
"Unfortunately, despite their education, they agreed to be injected with a number of substances they had little knowledge of, made no inquiries about the substance and kept the injections from their team doctor and ASADA.
"Of 30 ASADA testing missions during the period in question, none of the 18 players tested declared the injections, despite being asked each time whether they had taken any supplements.
"At best, the players did not ask the questions, or the people, they should have. At worst, they were complicit in a culture of secrecy and concealment.
"The CAS result brings this matter to a close and ASADA looks forward to continuing to work with all sporting codes to promote a clean and fair sporting environment."
Essendon chairman Lindsay Tanner apologised on behalf of the club to the players for the events of 2012 but said the penalty imposed was unfair.
"The penalty imposed on the 34 players is manifestly unfair," he said.
"At all times, our players acted in good faith. They sought assurances and were provided them. If ever there was a case to be made for a finding of no significant fault, this was it.
"The individual blame game that has dominated debate...is in my view unproductive."
"There was a collective systemic failing and it needs to be seen in that light."
Tanner said the club respects the decision and will not challenge it.
James Hird, who coached Essendon in 2012 and has already served a one-year by the AFL for his role in the scandal, labelled the decision a "miscarriage of justice," while the AFL Players' Association boss Paul Marsh called the decision a "disgrace," adding: "We are struggling to understand how the CAS decision can be so different to that of the AFL anti-doping tribunal."
|Oshie staying with Capitals on new eight-year deal|
|Devils take Hischier with number one pick in NHL draft|
|Spieth maintains Travelers lead as struggling Day misses cut|
|Porto´s Depoitre joins Huddersfield for club-record fee|
|Stokes slams Roy obstruction dismissal|
|Five championships sounds pretty good - Hamilton targeting more F1 titles|
|Portugal U21s won´t be matching the Euro success of Ronaldo and Co.|
|Morgan defends Livingstone after disastrous debut run-out in South Africa defeat|
|Hardaker shines as Tigers beat Rhinos, Salford suffer late heartache|
|Saints legend Le Tissier urges Pellegrino to entertain|
|De Villiers hails South African never-say-die attitude|
|Salah set to thrill Liverpool fans - Ince|
|Rain washes out opening ODI in Trinidad|
|Cilic and Dimitrov through to Aegon Championships semi-finals|
|Proteas pull off thrilling fightback to set up T20 decider|
|Ronaldo and Hernandez don´t compare for Vasin|
|Broad in contention for opening South Africa Test|
|Garcia beats Vinci to book Mallorca reunion with Sevastova|
|Schick lauded as Czech´s best ahead of Juventus move|
|Safarova survives gruelling Gavrilova bout, Kvitova awaits|
|Dortmund opportunity too good for Bosz to turn down, says De Boer|
|The party won´t end if we exit Confederations Cup, says Russia boss Cherchesov|
|Man Utd star Carrick: I might play for as long as Giggs!|
|Contador supported by Degenkolb in Trek-Segafredo Tour de France team|
|Confederations Cup Social Diary: Ronaldo not on winning side for once|
|Chile v Australia: Troisi looking at bigger picture for Socceroos|
|Garcia, Stenson hunting half-way leaders in Munich|
|Jagielka buoyed by Everton transfer business|
|Dan Evans confirms positive cocaine test|
|Germany v Cameroon: Logistical motivation for Low|
|Federer ends Mayer´s title defence in Halle|
|Alonso´s season continues to go downhill as car rolls away|
|Chelsea to Aston Villa will not feel like a step down for Terry, claims Sherwood|
|Pellegrino appointed Southampton manager|
|Paul George gave Pacers a ´gut punch´ with news of desired departure|
|Confederations Cup Diary: Mexico win MediaBowl, Beausejour is our new best friend and everyone loves|
|Salah signing takes Liverpool a step closer to title - Berger|
|Bumrah unimpressed as traffic police mock no-ball woe|
|F1 Raceweek: Mercedes and Ferrari vie for momentum in Baku|
|Frank de Boer will fulfil ´every manager´s dream´ at Crystal Palace, says brother Ronald|
|Kaymer likens Woods´ impact to Muhammad Ali|
|Bale determined to win ´more trophies´ as Madrid exit rumours persist|
|Osorio: Russia clash the perfect chance to answer critics|
|Josh Harrop explains Manchester United exit|
|Carrick not thinking about Cristiano Ronaldo reunion at Man Utd|
|Santos defends Portugal´s Euro 2016 win|
|Vinales puts down a marker as Lorenzo endures dismal day|
|Man Utd youngster Harrop signs for Preston|
|New Zealand v British and Irish Lions: Everything you need to know|
|Ferguson was stunned when Van Gaal sold Evans, claims O´Neill|
|Santos keeps New Zealand guessing on Ronaldo|
|PSG´s project is not lost – Marquinhos urges Verratti to stay amid Barcelona interest|
|Don´t compare me to Mourinho, says New Zealand boss Hudson|
|Leeds complete signing of Poland midfielder Mateusz Klich|
|Hudson claims New Zealand are not scared of Ronaldo and Portugal|
|Luke injured in Warriors win, Hayne torments Tigers|
|Sevilla refute Juve interest in N´Zonzi|
|River Plate duo Mayada and Martinez Quarta fail drugs test|
|Cristiano Ronaldo mocks Real Madrid team-mate James Rodriguez´s ´ugly´ new haircut|
|Gatland questions All Blacks´ bench, Savea absence|
|All Blacks expect to tame Lions, says Read|
|Chelsea, Arsenal to dedicate Community Shield to Grenfell Tower victims|
|Dani Alves drops massive Man City transfer hint|
|Forsberg wants to take next step - agent hits out at ´arrogant´ RB Leipzig|
|Sevilla told €9m not enough to re-sign Inter midfielder Banega|
|ACA rejects improved Cricket Australia offer|
|Klopp must have plan B to fulfil Liverpool´s Premier League ambitions - Garcia|
|Chelsea should forget Bakayoko and give Chalobah a chance - Wilkins|
|Double for Evans as Wales beat Samoa|
|Messi´s prison sentence swapped for fine|