Today, Jobe Watson finishes his suspension for violating the World Anti-Doping Agency’s code.
And with this, the saga ends.
Well, not entirely. Alwyn Davey (Woomelang-Lascelles and Palmerston) and Leroy Jetta (Peel Thunder) have ended their AFL careers, but still play in lower leagues and are suspended until February 15. But the saga has already dragged on long enough, and those two are unlikely to continue their careers.
The players have served their suspension. Jobe Watson handed back his Brownlow. Essendon has taken its punishment, and they’ve done it with dignity.
The fact that they have the number one draft pick seems as if it is to give them a tiny bit of hope. Don’t worry. Things will get better.
These 34 players will, for the rest of their lives, be regarded as drug cheats. This may be justified. It may not be. It all depends on how much of it was the player’s fault, and that’s something that we will, most likely, never know.
There are many unanswered questions about the saga. These will not be answered tomorrow, or even next month. In the future, football historians will look at this as a sad, depressing part in the AFL’s history.
But for now, we can lay it to bed.