THE AFL will delay its review of Jobe Watson's 2012 Brownlow Medal triumph in the wake of 34 past and present Essendon players appealing their doping bans.
The AFL Commission was preparing to make a call whether to strip Watson of the game's highest individual honour on Monday, in response to the Court of Arbitration for Sport slapping season-long bans on the Dons involved in the club's 2012 supplements program.
But the Commission will now step back and allow the appeal process to the Swiss Federal Supreme Court to be completed, an AFL spokesperson confirmed.
The Bombers expect the process to take several months after they lodge paperwork on Thursday and, even if the players clear their names, they aren't expected to return to the football field this season.
“We feel it’s the right thing to do,’’ Essendon chairman Lindsay Tanner said. “It’s obviously very important to the players to clear their name, if at all possible.
“What these players now face is having a slur on their name, an extremely unfair slur."
Watson won the 2012 Brownlow with 30 votes, four clear of joint runners-up Trent Cotchin from Richmond and Hawthorn star Sam Mitchell.