The father of Essendon captain Jobe Watson has pleaded with ASADA to put his son and other Bombers players out of their misery by bringing to a close the investigation into the club's 2012 supplements and injections program.
Former Bomber great Tim Watson has described the toll ASADA's 15-month probe has taken on his son and other players as "death by a thousand cuts" as the most significant media story for several months about the drugs saga landed this week.
Tim Watson admitted to feeling anxious after reading a Fairfax Media report on Monday that revealed up to 40 current or former Essendon players who played at the club in 2012 were set to receive show-cause letters from ASADA, which could lead to infraction notices.
"This is like death by a thousand cuts, and I think we talked about it this year, I think everybody would just like to think that, at some point, [ASADA] will bring it to a conclusion," he said.
"I don't think a player has been interviewed for 10 months now, so that's a long, long time that someone has been sitting on this evidence."
Watson acknowledged that ASADA's new chief executive, former police officer Ben McDevitt, had used strong language in stressing the fact that "each professional athlete is personally responsible for what substances enter their body".
Jobe Watson could yet be stripped of the Brownlow Medal he won in 2012 should it emerge that he is one of the Bombers players set to receive a show-cause letter and depending on whether that leads to an infraction notice and suspension.
Tim Watson said his son had not received any further updates from ASADA.
"It's not so much anger, but frustration that a lot of people are feeling," Watson said on Channel Seven on Monday night. "Now there is a new CEO of ASADA as well, and he's spoken pretty tough in the short time that he's been in that position."
"I think everybody believes now, and I'm talking about the AFL as well, I think they believe the information has been collected, all the investigation has been done - why now is this taking so long to reach that conclusion?"
Tim Watson's insight into the minds of Essendon players reflects another report by Fairfax Media on Tuesday that stated some players had become increasingly stressed to the point of being traumatised by the ongoing uncertainty and increasing level of speculation surrounding the drugs probe.
After bursting out of the blocks with impressive performances in the first three rounds this year, the Bombers have fallen into a slump. However, former Essendon great Matthew Lloyd said the players did not feel the ongoing uncertainty was a factor in their poor form.
"I speak to the players. They do want closure, but they don't put any of their recent form down to this at all," Lloyd said on Channel Nine. "They would say that you are making excuses for them when they cross the white line at weekends at the moment."