SAM Murray is free to resume training in mid-December after the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal imposed an 18-month ban following the discovery of cocaine traces in a match-day drug test taken in July last year.
The former Henty and Wodonga Raiders player began a provisional suspension in August and was staring at the prospect of a four-year and potentially AFL career-ending ban.
But, ASADA, which imposed the provisional suspension, the world anti-doping agency (WADA) and Murray can all appeal the decision made by the AFL tribunal.
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Collingwood has retained Murray on its rookie list since the provisional suspension commenced with the Magpies yet to make a decision whether they retain him in 2020.
But a precedent of sorts exists with the Magpies hanging onto Josh Thomas and Lachie Keeffe after they accepted two-year bans for taking banned substance clenbuterol in 2015.
Thomas is still with the Magpies, but Keeffe was later traded to Greater Western Sydney.
The club confirmed in a statement it had not made a decision on whether Murray would be retained on its list next year.
"Collingwood will continue to assist Murray as he considers his future but will not be making further comment until an end to the matter has been reached," the statement said.
An explanation of the tribunal's decision is still to be received by all parties.
Murray, in a statement, said he wanted to thank his family and friends, management, Collingwood, his legal team and the AFLPA for their support throughout the toughest period of his career.
"During the past 12 months I have been able to reflect on what is important to me," he said.
"I'm more committed than ever before to continue my AFL career and can now focus on doing everything in my power to keep that dream alive.
"I will wait for the tribunal to deliver the full reasons for its decisions and will be in a position to provide further comment at that time."
The AFL also released a statement confirming he could resume training in mid-December.
"The tribunal has determined that an anti-doping rule violation occurred and imposed a period of ineligibility of 18 months on Mr Murray, commencing on 17 August 2018, being the date on which his provisional suspension commenced," the AFL statement said.
"As such, Mr Murray's period of ineligibility (during which he may not play football at any level) will expire on 16 February 2020 and he will be eligible to return to play the next day.
"Under the code, Mr Murray may return to training in the final two months of his period of ineligibility."