UPDATE: Essendon called a crisis meeting of 10 senior players warning them that they would be named publicly for having taken potentially banned drugs.
Furious that confidentiality agreements had been broken and devastated their players would be subjected to further scrutiny, Bombers staff also contacted four former Essendon players who told investigators they believed they had taken the drugs.
The players told ASADA and AFL investigators last year they believed they had been injected with Thymosin, AOD-9604 or both.
In a letter seen by Fairfax Media and on Sunday issued to Essendon members, chairman Paul Little addressed his disappointment about the naming of players.
He told The Sunday Age: ''This is just another hurdle they need to overcome. These players have not been allowed to find closure and closure is what they crave.''
Acting club chief executive Xavier Campbell on Saturday addressed captain Jobe Watson and nine of his teammates after a training session at Tullamarine. Watson admitted on Fox Footy last year that he believed he had taken AOD-9604 which is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The Sunday Age has chosen not to name the 14 players.
All face further scrutiny from ASADA as it reviews the evidence gathered over the past 12 months surrounding Essendon's drug program conducted during the 2012 season. Little however has maintained he does not believe they took banned substances.
Essendon has always denied the Thymosin administered to the players under dangerous drug regime was Thymosin Beta-4 which is banned.
A disappointed Little told Essendon members: ''Throughout this investigation, confidentiality has been paramount to protect the integrity of this process - unfortunately, at various times this process has been undermined by leaks, innuendo and a lack of ethical and professional behaviour.
''The club has received information that the Herald Sun is going to name players based on information within an interim and incomplete report.
''On this occasion the club is particularly disappointed that the Herald Sun would choose to provide confidential information that could easily and unfairly damage the reputation of our players.
''As previously stated, we believe that our players did not take anything harmful, performance enhancing or illegal during 2012.
''Our players are young men of the highest integrity and it is a shame the Herald Sun has been unable to show the same level of professionalism and integrity as our players have done throughout this process.
''The disclosure of players' names will not change the outcome of the investigation in any way whatsoever, however it unfairly impacts our players, their reputations, their families and our club.''
The players had remained at the club for a community session on Saturday when the 10 were taken aside and informed their names would be made public. They were offered additional support from the club.
Little said he remained concerned at the ongoing impact on the players involved. ''From a club point of view they are going to need further special attention now,'' Little said. ''They signed confidentiality agreements and we believed those would be respected.''
The AFL and the AFL Players Association refused to comment on the development on Saturday.
On Sunday morning the AFL's media relations manager tweeted that ASADA had not notified the AFL of any impending sanctions against players.
AFL stance is it hasn't been notified by ASADA of impending action ag'st any AFL player. ASADA should be left to conclude its deliberations. — Patrick Keane (@AFL_PKeane) March 2, 2014
Both bodies have remained quietly confident the players involved will not receive infraction notices from ASADA.
Former ASADA CEO Richard Ings was prolific on Twitter on Sunday morning, saying the leak of names from the interim ASADA report was an 'egregious breach' of confidentiality.