Essendon was isolated in its war with the AFL when presidents of the other 17 clubs expressed support for the league after a meeting in Melbourne yesterday.
Essendon's public relations war with the AFL was also damaged when a tearful woman, claiming to be a player's mother, phoned Melbourne radio station Triple M to accuse the Bombers of "muzzling" players' families.
She challenged coach James Hird and biochemist Stephen Dank to inject their own children with the substances given to Essendon players last year.
Rival club presidents gave the AFL Commission a vote of confidence hours after Mr Hird lodged a Supreme Court writ trying to bring an injunction against AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou and any AFL commissioner who has had access to the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority interim report to stop them taking part in any hearing of charges against him.
Mr Hird has been charged with bringing the game into disrepute.
The writ accuses Mr Demetriou of tipping off Essendon president David Evans that its players took performance enhancing drugs and that his second in command Gillon McLachlan confirmed the tip and urged the club to report itself.
As Mr Hird's court action threatened to escalate his club's conflict with the AFL, Western Bulldogs president Peter Gordon, speaking for the other clubs, urged restraint after a meeting with the AFL and Essendon.
Mr Gordon said the other clubs wanted the matter kept out of court and "unanimously" expressed support for the integrity of AFL rules and the need to preserve the competition's integrity.
He said it was paramount that every effort be made to resolve the issues within the AFL.
The clubs called on all parties to show restraint and discretion in public comments and to make the welfare of players, their families and the game's integrity "paramount considerations".
Mr Hird's writ claims Mr Demetriou told then Essendon chairman Mr Evans on February 4, 2013, that "Essendon players had been taking performance- enhancing drugs". It says Mr Evans told Mr Hird and other officials of this tip. The writ says that on February 5, Essendon officials attended a meeting at AFL House with the league's deputy chief executive Gillon McLachlan.
It says Mr McLachlan told Mr Hird that he could not deny Essendon used drugs. It alleges Mr McLachlan urged the club to request an investigation and go public about uncertainties within its supplements program.
He also allegedly told the Bombers the Australian Crime Commission would report on the issue and if the club came forward earlier and invited an ASADA inquiry, it would "look better".
The writ claims the release of information from the AFL-ASADA report breached his privacy and had information "unfavourable" to him.
It says Mr Hird gave the ASADA probe "private and confidential information", including about his health and medical conditions.Mr Hird also claims that if the AFL heard his case he could not meet his coaching obligations.