The World Anti-Doping Agency was expected to sign off on the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority's deal with Cronulla players within days after the body's president said it would have a formal position on the backdated 12-month bans by mid-week.
WADA had 21 days to respond to evidence received by ASADA relating to suspensions meted out to 12 past and present Sharks players over their part in the club's 2011 supplements program.
However, the dozen players who took what were effectively three match bans, after admitting they unwittingly were administered performance-enhancing substances, did not face another agonising wait of weeks to know whether the penalties could be challenged and overturned in the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
WADA's president, Sir Craig Reedie, an architect of the London Olympics and International Olympic Committee vice-president who succeeded Australia's John Fahey in the post, said the organisation's legal team in Montreal would closely examine ASADA's brief of evidence against the players and would outline their stance on the sanctions within the next few days.
He said WADA agreed in principle with how the matter was handled, via suspensions that were backdated to begin in November last year, by Australia's anti-doping watchdog.
"There is no doubt that WADA knows that has happened," Reedie said. "We will have our position at the beginning of next week ... probably Monday or Tuesday to mid-week Montreal time.
"We don't take decisions to appeal things lightly. We take them seriously, so it involves quite a lot of information."
The perceived leniency of the suspensions created a furore when they were agreed to by players on Friday and there were claims they undermined the credibility of the anti-doping concept in Australia led by Fahey and a string of Olympic athletes.
Lawyers for the players were given an assurance on Friday morning that WADA was content with the deals, and it appeared a formal green light from Canada was imminent.
WADA followed Reedie's comments by releasing a statement on Sunday that said its code allowed "for flexibility in relation to matters of no significant fault and the commencement date of sanctions".
It added: "WADA is comfortable with the principles behind these issues being used in cases, and will review the way they have been applied to the facts in due course."
ASADA chief executive Ben McDevitt was also bullish about the sanctions, backdated due to delays in the investigation, being approved by WADA. He also confirmed sports scientist Stephen Dank had been entered into the agency's register of findings.
"We are on extremely firm ground," McDevitt told the ABC's Offsiders on Sunday. "The advice I have from WADA is that they are very comfortable with how these have been handled and the landing point we have arrived at.
"Obviously WADA will always retain their right to appeal and, in fairness to them, they haven't seen all the intricacies of this brief. But they are aware of how it has panned out, they are aware of the general flow of it, they are aware of what the players have said, they are aware of the general nature of the evidence that has been produced.
"They will never give an iron-clad guarantee but I am extremely comfortable that they believe that what we have done here is consistent with the code, is in accordance with the code.
"And I can tell you that, as an administrator and as the guardian of the code in Australia, there is no way that I would possibly allow us to get into a situation that what we were doing would be in breach of that code."