The one-time chairman of Australia's Anti-Doping Authority claims that potentially explosive individual confessions can be enough to lead to significant sanctions and bans.
Drug authorities do not need a confirmed positive test to ban players if confessions from witnesses during any inquiry are accurate and proven, according to Ings.
Essendon players face two-year playing bans if any are found guilty of using illegal performance enhancing substances.
Ings revealed on Fox Sports News that confessions are enough for doping authorities such as ASADA to act independently of AFL findings and sanctions.
"Now if there is any evidence at all of doing from witness statements or information from law enforcements, or customs that suspicions prove that athletes were involved in doping, that is enough to bring a doping case against them," Ings revealed.
The former anti-doping crusader pointed directly to the international sporting drugs scandal with disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong where testimony from witnesses stacked a compelling case against the now banned athlete.
Ings, who was ASADA chief for five years from 2005-10, bluntly claimed that Essendon's shock confessions to poptential abuse of performance enhancing substances smacked of serious possible outcomes.
Bombers officials have been pointed in their statements that the possible mis-use relates to training "supplements" as opposed to reference to potentially illegal substances.
Ings didn't pull punches in splitting the differences.
"You don't call ASADA over a supplement," he declared.
"A supplement by nature is nutritional supplement. It's a vitamin or a mineral.
"This smells of something a little bit more serious."