FORMER Australian anti-doping boss Richard Ings calls it a one-all scoreline between ASADA and the Essendon players, with the penalty shootout to come.

The AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal hearing starting on Monday will now show whether ASADA's confidence in its case without key witnesses Shane Charter and Nima Alavi is justified.

Ings noted that while ASADA had a big win in the Federal Court three months ago, Friday's Supreme Court verdict was undoubtedly a setback.

"So by my count it is ASADA 1 Players 1," said Ings on Twitter.

"Roll on the penalty shoot out starting 15 December."

Supreme Court Justice Clyde Croft ruled against the anti-doping body's application to issue subpoenas that would have compelled Charter and Alavi to appear at the Tribunal hearing.

"The decision of the Supreme Court today can only be viewed as a setback for ASADA in presenting its allegations of possible anti-doping rule violations before an AFL Tribunal," Ings told AAP.

A week ago, ASADA chief executive Ben McDevitt said that having the pair appear at the hearing was preferable, but not essential to its case.
"I guess time will tell whether that is indeed the case," Ings said.

In September, the Federal Court ruled that the joint ASADA and AFL investigation into Essendon's controversial supplements program was lawful.

The verdict was a massive blow to the Bombers and coach James Hird.

While Essendon accepted that verdict, Hird has appealed and is awaiting the result.

ASADA predictably said after Friday's verdict that it would still present statements from Charter and Alavi at the Tribunal hearing.

"ASADA's intention has always been to present the best evidence possible before the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal," the anti-doping body said.

"Ideally, this would include first-hand testimony delivered in person by all witnesses.

"ASADA has done everything within its power, including the bid to the Victorian Supreme Court, to get these witnesses physically before the Tribunal.

"Unfortunately, the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal does not have the power to compel certain witnesses who do not wish to attend and give evidence in person.

"On this basis, ASADA will tender to the Tribunal written and recorded evidence previously gathered from those witnesses."

In the wake of ASADA's Supreme Court setback, there has been speculation that lawyers acting for the players will try to have the case thrown out of the Tribunal.

But it is understood that the start of the hearing will be taken up by ASADA outlining its case and this could take more than a day.

The AFL Players Association played a straight bat to Friday's Supreme Court verdict.

It is supporting the 34 current and past Essendon players who will plead their collective case before the Anti-Doping Tribunal.

"The players' legal team attended the Supreme Court this morning to receive the court's ruling on the subpoena issue," association chief executive Paul Marsh said in a statement.

"We look forward to the matter commencing on the 15th December, as scheduled."