What happened on Tuesday night?
After two days of tense negotiations between the AFL, Essendon and its charged officials, a press conference was called for 8:15pm at AFL House.
The League announced that the Commission and Essendon had agreed the club engaged in conduct that is unbecoming or likely to prejudice the interests or reputation of the AFL or bring the game into disrepute. The club had "established a supplements program that was experimental, inappropriate and inadequately vetted and controlled".
The AFL announced sanctions against Essendon and three of its staff members – James Hird, Mark Thompson and Danny Corcoran – with the Bombers holding a press conference minutes later at AFL House. A fourth Bomber official, Dr Bruce Reid, is fighting his charge.
- A fine of $2 million
- The club forfeits its place in the 2013 finals series, being deemed to have finished in ninth position on the ladder after the 2013 season
- The club is prohibited from using its first and second round selections in the 2013 and 2014 NAB AFL Drafts
- However, the Bombers will be granted a pick at the end of the first round of the 2014 draft
- Essendon may trade in to any round of the 2013 or 2014 drafts
James Hird, senior coach
- Suspended for 12 months, backdated to August 25, 2013
- Cannot work with any AFL club through this period
Danny Corcoran, football manager
- Suspended for six months, two months of which is suspended for a period of two years. As a result, a four-month ban exists
- Cannot work with any AFL club in any capacity during that period
Mark Thompson, senior assistant
- Fined $30,000
Dr Bruce Reid, Essendon club doctor
- Continuing to fight the charges against him
- His hearing will continue at 10am on Thursday morning
What does the future hold for James Hird?
Hird has agreed to a contract extension and will be welcomed back to Essendon as senior coach for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
It is feasible he could coach the Bombers in the 2014 finals series if they qualified.
Hird is yet to speak publicly, but he has apologised to the AFL for his role and was described by League chairman Mike Fitzpatrick as "genuinely remorseful".
He can attend AFL matches through his 12-month ban.
What does it mean for the rest of the 2013 season?
The Bombers will play Richmond on Saturday night in a dead rubber. Regardless of the result, they will finish ninth on the ladder and will not play in the finals.
Club chairman Paul Little said he thought the players would "play for James Hird and the club," giving their best effort despite the situation, and he appealed to supporters to turn up in support.
Assistant coach Simon Goodwin will coach the team in Hird's absence.
Essendon players will still be eligible for the Brownlow Medal and all other individual awards. Further, Jobe Watson will not be stripped of his 2012 Brownlow.
Carlton, the Brisbane Lions, North Melbourne, Adelaide and West Coast are all capable of finishing in eighth spot and playing finals.
What does it mean for the 2014 season?
The club will need to appoint an interim coach to guide the team until Hird's return. Little said three people had already offered their help.
Retired champion Matthew Lloyd has called strongly for Hird's senior assistant Mark Thompson to be handed the role. Little also said he was confident the Bombers would not lose players and could have a strong season.
Will the players be served infraction notices from ASADA?
The AFL General Counsel has stated that he did not see fit to serve infraction notices on the players.
However the ASADA investigation remains ongoing and could still serve infraction notices on players if evidence points in that direction.
Essendon chairman Paul Little remained confident that would not happen, however he could not be certain.
"No player has been found guilty of taking a performance-enhancing drug. I would remind you there have been no infraction notices, nor do we believe there will be," Little said.
AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou said there was no evidence as yet to support infraction notices being served however he said the question remains in the hands of ASADA.
Will Dank front the AFL or ASADA to tell his version of events?
Andrew Demetriou said the AFL would encourage ASADA to summons Stephen Dank to give evidence under the coercive powers it gained in August through the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority Amendment Bill 2013.
He encouraged Dank to talk about his actions at Essendon during 2011 and 2012, saying: "He's got a lot to answer for".
Essendon chairman Paul Little re-iterated Demetriou's call for Dank to front the Commission. He said the Bombers weren't interested in talking to Dank as it would not be productive.
Dank has repeatedly said he has no intention of speaking to ASADA or the AFL Commission, claiming he has not been shown respect. His lawyers have also suggested it would challenge any attempt to coerce him under new legislative powers.
The Australian Crime Commission interviewed Dank late in 2012 as part the drugs in sport enquiry.