FREMANTLE tagger Ryan Crowley will not face the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal until May, ruling him out for at least the first month of the season.
Crowley, who has been provisionally suspended since September last year, was given a timeline for his hearing on Friday, with written submissions to be completed through April.
A hearing for the 31-year-old has been set for May 1, two days before the Dockers' round five clash against Melbourne.
The Tribunal panel will consist of chairman David Jones, John Nixon and Dr Susan White.
The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority will lodge its written submissions on April 2, with Crowley to file his by April 17.
Crowley's case has been delayed due to the Anti-Doping Tribunal's deliberations on 34 past and present Essendon players, who will learn their fate on March 31.
The 2012 Fremantle club champion tested positive to a 'specified' substance contained in a painkiller after playing Greater Western Sydney on July 13 last season.
His show-cause notice was made public earlier this month, six months after his 'B' sample tested positive.
Crowley, who faces a ban of up to two years, will be supported by his club at the hearing in May, but has sought independent legal representation.