AUSTRALIAN Sports Anti-Doping Authority CEO Ben McDevitt has told a Senate Estimates Committee on Wednesday he expected the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal to hand down its decision by, "possibly", the end of March or April.

Although he was reluctant to give his opinion on what the tribunal finding might be, he left the door open for ASADA to appeal if he wasn't satisfied with his decision.

"Technically, that option would be open to us," McDevitt said.

McDevitt said if ASADA was moved to appeal any decision from the tribunal, his understanding was that the AFL Anti-Doping Appeals Tribunal would hear it, whereas an appeal by the World Anti-Doping Agency could go directly to the Court of Arbitration for sport.

With players having started provisional suspensions in November, McDevitt agreed that players could be found guilty of anti-doping code violations in this case, but not miss home and away games.

"Hypothetically, it could - as to whether or not that would be an acceptable outcome, people would have different views on that," McDevitt said.

Although the maximum penalty for an anti-doping code violation is two years, this could be cut if players successfully claim no fault or no significant fault, have provided substantial assistance, and/or had been provisionally suspended as is the case for the 34 current and former Essendon players who received infraction notices.

The time players have spent provisionally suspended could be counted as time served if they were found guilty of anti-doping violations and incurred penalties.

With the premiership season beginning on April 2 and the Bombers playing their first game on Saturday, April 4, timelines are tight.

Any Essendon player still at the club who was on the list in 2012 when the breaches were alleged to have taken place has chosen to sit out the NAB Challenge until a decision is handed down to ensure provisional suspensions are not interrupted and to protect the anonymity of those who received infraction notices.

McDevitt said ASADA would consider the tribunal decision before deciding if any further steps were necessary.

"My position will be to listen to the tribunal, read carefully and examine the reasons for the decision they come up with, and then look at the situation in its entirety against the backdrop of the code and the provisions of the code and then come to what we think would be a reasonable decision."