FORMER Essendon skipper Jobe Watson has returned the 2012 Brownlow Medal to the AFL.

AFL CEO Gill McLachlan revealed the prestigious medal was now in the League's possession, meaning the final curtain can now be drawn on the Essendon supplements saga. 

"I am not going to go into too much detail. The Brownlow Medal has been handed back in," McLachlan said.

He would not discuss when or how the handover took place. 

"All I'm saying is the medal is with me," McLachlan said.

Watson relinquished the 2012 honour after the final appeal to his suspension for an anti-doping violation was dismissed in October.

He had already served the season-long ban handed down by WADA to 34 past and present Essendon players and made the call to relinquish the award before the AFL Commission made the inevitable decision to strip him of the honour. 

Watson made his feelings clear in a statement released in November.

"It is with mixed emotions that I have decided to hand back my 2012 Brownlow Medal," Watson said at the time.

The AFL Commission subsequently awarded the 2012 Brownlow to former Hawk Sam Mitchell and Richmond's Trent Cotchin, presenting the pair with their respective medals at an official but low-key function in December. 

Watson subsequently told Essendon he did not want to be considered as the Bombers' captain this season but he has remained in the club's leadership group for 2017.

Meanwhile McLachlan said the AFL would release the findings of its internal review into how the League handled the Essendon supplements saga before the opening round of the season.

The review, flagged in February 2014, a year after the Bombers first invited ASADA to investigate its 2012 supplements program, is expected to make a set of recommendations including having the AFL CEO step away from the AFL Commission in the consideration of such matters to ensure the CEO can play a more significant operational role. 

The format of the release is yet to be finalised. 

McLachlan also backed the AFL's response to the news in January that former Bombers coach James Hird had been admitted to hospital after a major health scare.

He said the AFL had decided not to make public comment at the time but had reached out to people close to the family to express their concern and offer their support.

"If we can help we're there," McLachlan said.