FRUSTRATED clubs have implored the AFL to come clean with the identity of an alleged rogue drug taker.
Confusion reigned last night after AFL deputy chief executive Gillon McLachlan confirmed multiple Essendon players were being investigated for performance enhancing drug use and revealed an individual player from an unknown second club had been named in the Australian Crime Commission coruption in sport report.
The AFL has sought permission from the Crime Commission to reveal currently classified details from the Operation Aperio report, the Herald Sun reports.
The league last night said it was still negotiating with the ACC over what could be released, to whom, and with what conditions.
"We've all just been left hanging because we don't know if it's us," one AFL chief executive said.
"I can't tell you if our club is clean because we haven't been told."
Other club chiefs shared the frustration that while it was known only two clubs had been implicated, the public was open to believe the second club was any one of 17 teams.
Essendon last night said it was "fully co-operating" with an Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigation.
"In this case it is possible that players were administered the WADA-prohibited performance enhancing drugs without their knowledge or consent," McLachlan had said earlier.
"The AFL is not aware of any issues, potential use of performance enhancing drugs by any players, on AFL lists coming into the 2013 season," McLachlan said.
"There are some potential historical issues that we are investigating, there are vulnerabilities, but at the moment that investigation will take some time and until we get to the bottom of that the season will go ahead until we have futher information."
In other developments yesterday:
JUSTICE Minister Jason Clare said phone taps had been used to help gather information on those believed to be involved in suspect practices.
MCLACHLAN said a resolution to the saga is likely to be months rather than weeks away.
THE AFL revealed approximately 1100 performance enhancing drug tests were conducted on AFL players last season. A similar number is planned for 2013.
THE league said despite the Crime Commission implicating two clubs in doping, it was aware of a wider danger of illicit drug use by players across the competition.
MCLACHLAN stated no AFL game was being investigated for match fixing.The Crime Commission has said one match-fixing inquiry is under way in Australia.
The AFL's statement yesterday leaves an NRL match as the most likely subject of that probe.
Clare said evidence against clubs and individuals specified in the ACC's confidential report had been passed to NSW and Victorian police.
"We're not just talking about evidence that's been collected through coercive hearings, we're talking about documentary evidence that the Crime Commission has got as well as the use of phone taps that corroborate all of the information they've got," Clare told ABC TV.
McLachlan said fans awaiting the investigation's outcome needed to be be patient.
"The reality is it's not going to be as quick as everybody would like," McLachlan said.
"It's not going to be as quick as the club, the players, the AFL, the media, the supporters would like.
"The reality is that the investigators - which ultimately is ASADA in conjunction with the AFL - has to get the right answers and that will take as long as it takes.
"It's more likely to be months rather than weeks."
Read more at the Herald Sun.