COLLINGWOOD pair Lachie Keeffe and Josh Thomas will become eligible to play again on February 9, 2017 after being officially informed of the terms of their two-year ban under the AFL's Anti-Doping Code.
The duo pleaded guilty to a breach of the AFL Anti-Doping Code after testing positive for clenbuterol, a WADA-prohibited substance, on February 10, 2015.
Having accepted the maximum sanction of two years, they will be banned from AFL competition until February 9, 2017, and may not play at any level of the game in any recognised competition in the meantime.
They will be able to train with a team and use club facilities for the final two months of their ban, meaning they could return to training after December 9, 2016.
The formal notification of the February 9 return date is a good outcome for the pair, as they successfully argued the ban should begin at the date they were tested rather than late March, when the results came to light.
In a statement, ASADA said both bans were backdated on the basis of "timely admissions made by the players."
The players have been cooperative and remorseful since the incident and their manager Tim Hazell said it was the best outcome.
"We are pleased with the outcome as it gives them [Keeffe and Thomas] an opportunity to come straight into the NAB Cup and be ready for round one (2017),” Hazell told AFL.com.au.
"We've had great support from [Lawyer] Ben Ihle, the AFLPA and Collingwood."
Collingwood has delisted Keeffe and Thomas but they are eligible to nominate for the draft and be placed on an AFL list in 2016.
The Magpies have promised to place the pair on their rookie list.
Keeffe, 25, is a versatile tall and had played 40 games with the Magpies before being banned while Thomas, 24, had played 32 matches after overcoming a series of injuries and is regarded as an excellent stoppage player.