'There hasn't been any closure at this moment... we have lived through it' said the Bombers skipper Jobe Watson.

'There hasn't been any closure at this moment... we have lived through it' said the Bombers skipper Jobe Watson. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

Essendon captain Jobe Watson says the club's supplements scandal has at times left him and his teammates disillusioned with the sport.

''It's been an incredibly difficult situation for a long period of time,'' he said. ''The players to their credit have fronted up, will continue to front up, will be there every game, will work out in front of 50,000, 60,000 Essendon members with our heads held high and we will attack this 2014 season the way that we are prepared.

''There have been times where it has been disillusioning but we have maintained strength as a group and we have been proud to put the Essendon jumper on.''

The AFL Players Association has begun to explore legal action against News Corp for its decision to publish the names of 14 players suspected to have taken banned drugs during the club's infamous injecting program.

Watson on Wednesday left open the option of legal action, with sources close to the AFLPA confirming it had approached lawyers asking what rights the offended players had. The names of the 14 players - 10 of whom remain at the club - were listed in the interim report completed by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, although it does not necessarily mean they are more at risk of receiving infraction notices.

AFLPA vice-president and Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich was so incensed by the decision to publish that he, on behalf of all captains, took the unusual step of reading a prepared statement condemning the media outlet.

Watson said it had ''not got to that stage (of legal action) yet'' but, asked if he was not ruling it out, he replied: ''We will seek the advice of the players association on that''.

''In particular, what occurred in the Herald Sun on Sunday was disappointing for the players,'' he said. ''For an ongoing investigation, for them [Sunday Herald Sun] to pre-empt by naming and showing photographs of players, for a Commonwealth investigation that was going on, that was very disappointing. For players' families and friends, that was an unnecessary element when the investigation is still ongoing.

''The players have worked incredibly hard, we understand it has been ongoing, there hasn't been any closure at this moment … we have lived through it.

''It is the view of the captains of all 18 AFL clubs that the decision to name and publish photos of current and former Essendon Football Club players in the press on Sunday falls short of the standards of respect and decency that we hope would characterise the relationship between players and the media. Regardless of what you think about what happened at Essendon … in 2012, there is no doubt that these players are in an unenviable and vulnerable position.

''As leaders of the playing group, we think it's appropriate to stand up, lend our voice and influence in condemning the mistreatment of vulnerable players - that's our responsibility.''

Fairfax Media opted to not publish the names. Watson admitted on Fox Footy last season he suspected he was given AOD-9604. Former ASADA chief Richard Ings said the release of the names was an ''egregious breach'' of confidentiality.