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AFLPA won't fund Essendon 34 legal bills: Marsh

Ben Guthrie  February 5, 2016 8:45 AM

AFL 2015 Media - Illicit Drugs Policy Press Conference

AFLPA chief Paul Marsh

Peter Jess certainly shouldn't be talking on behalf of any other players apart from Nathan

AFL PLAYERS' Association chief Paul Marsh has categorically denied the organisation will help fund ex-Bomber Nathan Lovett-Murray's last-ditch appeal to Swiss authorities.
 
Marsh's clarification came after Lovett-Murray's manager, Peter Jess, confirmed the ex-Bomber would attempt to clear his name from a drug ban and stated the AFLPA would play a role from a financial point of view.
 
“Categorically, the AFL Players' Association has not funded any legal bills to this point and we won't be funding this appeal," Marsh told Melbourne radio station SEN on Friday morning.
 
"We're waiting on the Essendon Football Club to confirm they will continue to fund (the players' legal bills) and we expect that to be the case."
 
The 34 past and present Bombers players have until February 10 to lodge their appeals.
 
As of Friday, AFL.com.au understands the Swiss court is yet to receive any formal paperwork in regard to an appeal.
 
"Peter's comments show how disconnected he is to actually what's happening here with the 34 players and he certainly shouldn't be talking on behalf of any other players apart from Nathan," Marsh said.
 
"It's quite likely (other players may appeal). It's a difficult decision for the players but they've certainly been well briefed, we've had ongoing conversations with them and when we know how many players, which players choose to or not to appeal, rest assured, we'll let the world know what's going on."
 
Jess also told SEN that the CAS' verdict was "fatally flawed".

"Nathan has said he wasn't guilty, that he was dealt with unfairly through the CAS process and I'm of the same opinion. That whole process was so fatally flawed that any like-minded person would say it was unfair.

"Nathan was criticised on the fact that he did not show enough curiosity, that he didn't ask enough questions.

"If you have a look at the facts, that's not the case. He asked the club doctor (Bruce Reid) on two separate occasions and not once did the doctor come back and say, a) he shouldn't do it, and b) it was outside [the World Anti-Doping Agency's code]."
 
Jess acknowledged any success of an appeal, given the matter would be heard under a foreign jurisdiction, would be difficult to obtain.
 
"I would say the chances of success are on the low scale rather than the high scale," Jess said.

Nathan Lovett-Murray celebrates a goal for the Dons in 2012. Picture: AFL Media