AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou has denied that there was any deal with Essendon coach James Hird over penalties related to the Bombers' supplements saga.
And Demetriou has written to all 18 clubs on Wednesday telling them that allegations made in News Ltd publications do not provide "any significant new information".
The outlets reported on Tuesday that Australian Sports Commission chairman John Wylie spoke to Essendon president Paul Little during one of the most difficult periods of the crisis.
Mr Wylie is reported as saying he was asked to help with negotiations between the League and the club by Mr Little and AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick, both of whom are friends.
Demetriou wrote in his letter to the clubs "that fact has been on the public record since September 3, 2013 when the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers outlined his involvement".
The News Ltd reports claimed that among the offers discussed before the August 26-27 AFL Commission hearing was due to consider penalties was a deal for Hird to receive full pay while serving his 12-month suspension.
"Some of the coverage by News Limited today appears to assert the AFL has paid or is paying James Hird, which is completely false," the letter to clubs said.
Demetriou told 3AW on Wednesday morning that much of what was published by News Ltd was incorrect.
"There was no deal done. No inducement was offered by the AFL to James Hird to reach agreement," he said.
"The agreement was reached on the day of the commission hearing. That's what was announced.
"What the public should know is that we were absolutely true to our process, that we said there was no predetermined outcome and that we would hear the matter on the day."
Demetriou said Hird was not being paid by Essendon or the AFL and he was unaware of any external payments being made to the suspended coach.
He later added that Hird was entitled to have an earning capacity outside of football during his suspension.
"I have no knowledge of what he's being paid outside of the Essendon Football Club, but he is not permitted to be paid by the Essendon Football Club," Demetriou said.
"I can categorically tell you that part of the sanctions from the AFL is that he is suspended without pay from the Essendon Football Club. That is a fact."
Essendon was heavily penalised in August for its supplements program in 2011 and 2012, receiving a fine of $2 million, losing its place in the 2013 finals series, losing draft picks and having Hird suspended for 12 months.
Demetriou said there was no time frame on whether the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority would hand down infraction notices, and the League had been given no assurance they would not be issued.
"There's absolutely no guarantee, because we've been very clear and transparent on this - this is an on-going matter for ASADA and they have said very clearly they left the case open, they plan in some point in time to talk with (former Essendon sports scientist) Stephen Dank and whoever else they plan to talk to.
"On that basis, the matter is still open.
"Whilst today there is nothing before us that indicates there are infraction notices and that's the best of our knowledge, this case is still open before ASADA."
AFL spokesman James Tonkin told News Ltd on Tuesday, "Numerous discussions took place at different levels in a bid to resolve the matter as quickly and appropriately as possible.
"These negotiations were in good faith, in the best interests of our game, were always appropriate and assisted in achieving the resolution."
Demetriou said there was no pre-determined outcome before the Commission hearing but acknowledged there had been discussions between the parties, and that was not unusual.
He said such talks were "entirely appropriate" and in line with "other situations where there are on-going negotiations before a matter is heard".
He said he wasn't aware if the AFL approached Essendon as early as late June to ask what penalties the club was willing to accept, as the News Ltd reports suggested.
Chairman Paul Little and a defiant James Hird during the Essendon supplement scandal. Picture AFL Media