Fremantle have pledged support for recruit Scott Gumbleton after he was one of 14 current or former Essendon players named publicly as having allegedly told the Australian Sports Anti- Doping Authority they thought they had been injected with peptides in 2012.
Dockers chief executive officer Steve Rosich said the club would continue to support Gumbleton, who also sustained a serious hamstring injury in Fremantle's NAB Challenge win against the Western Bulldogs last Wednesday night.
The hamstring tear was originally thought to be relatively minor, but the club released a statement on the weekend to say the 25-year-old forward could miss three months.
"He remains a focused young man trying to make the most of his opportunity with us," Rosich said of Gumbleton.
"He is already focused on his rehab to give himself the best possible chance to get the most out of this season."
News Corp Australia said the current 10 Essendon players who suspected they had been injected with a form of thymosin or the anti-obesity drug AOD-9604 included captain Jobe Watson, Dyson Heppell, Michael Hurley, Tom Bellchambers, Jake Melk- sham, Heath Hocking, Michael Hibberd, Kyle Hardingham, Tayte Pears and Alex Browne.
Former Bombers Gumbleton, who joined Fremantle at the end of 2013, Stewart Crameri (Western Bulldogs) and de-listed duo Ricky Dyson and Sam Lonergan were the other four.
It is not clear what impact the announcement will have on whether ASADA issues infraction notices to players.
That could depend on whether ASADA believes Essendon were given reason to think that AOD-9604 was legal, and whether it can be proved that the form of thymosin players received was the banned thymosin beta-4.
"We are supportive of Scott as we have been since he has been at this football club," Rosich said.
He said the Dockers had been "comfortable" with the due diligence they had done on Gumbleton before they decided to recruit him.
·St Kilda will miss Lenny Hayes and Maverick Weller for their round-one clash with Melbourne unless they can successfully challenge striking charges.
Hayes and Weller were hit with level-three charges for striking Stephen Coniglio and Tomas Bugg respectively during the Saints' big loss to Greater Western Sydney on Sunday.