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No cameras to be allowed in Swiss court for Dons' potential appeal

Matt Thompson  February 10, 2016 7:00 AM

We do not allow cameras to broadcast live/taped proceedings from inside the court building

ANY HOPE the Australian public had of finally watching open hearings in the Essendon anti-doping investigation has been dashed.

The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland has confirmed television cameras will not be allowed in court for any appeal proceedings involving the suspended AFL players, as per its standard policy.

"It is impossible to tell you in advance if there will be a public hearing or not," a court spokesperson told AFL.com.au overnight. 

"Should there be a public hearing, we do not allow cameras to broadcast live/taped proceedings from inside the court building."

Wednesday is deadline day for the Essendon 34, with each individual player required to indicate whether they want to be part of an appeal 

It's understood some players have been wavering on their decisions until the last minute.

Switzerland's highest court is the only avenue of appeal for verdicts handed down by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which last month found the 34 past and present Bombers players guilty of taking the banned substance Thymosin Beta-4.

The players have been suspended for the duration of the 2016 season, despite having previously been cleared by the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal. 

Appealing to the Swiss court, based in Lausanne, is a complicated task.

The court operates in French and German, meaning all the documentation for the proceedings will have to be translated.

It remains possible Australian journalists will be able to report on the case from inside the court room, although they will likely require translators.

It is so far unclear what timeframe there would be on what is a final appeal.

To be successful, the players must prove they were not given a fair hearing by the three member CAS panel that sat in Sydney late last year.

Last week the AFL Players' Association, which has been representing the players in the media, said an appeal from at least some of the players was 'likely'.

None of the Essendon 34 has given an interview since being left devastated by the news of the CAS findings.