‘Shame and embarrassment’: Eagles weigh up sacking Rioli
The West Coast Eagles will stand by suspended player Willie Rioli as he faces drug charges in the Northern Territory, but haven’t ruled out sacking the star forward.
The 25-year-old was allegedly in possession of 25 grams of cannabis at Darwin Airport.
West Cost general manager of football Craig Vozzo said Rioli is “gutted” and had kept the incident quiet.
“We found out over the last 24 hours. Shame and embarrassment on his part, I think he thought if he didn’t tell anyone it might go away,” he said.
“He’s a mess, it’s all fresh information, there is a lot of emotion at the moment.
“There’s anger, great sadness. There’s obviously an issue there.”
Vozzo admited there is now a trust issue with Rioli and hasn’t ruled out sacking the forward.
“We need to deal with the facts and the legal outcome,” he said.
“We need to find out what the court determines before we come to any conclusions.
“On the face of it, It’s another poor decision, that does test club trust and personal trust.”
Rioli is currently serving a two year doping ban for tampering with drug tests in 2019 and was due to return to Perth for training on June 20.
6PR and Nine News reporter Mitch Turner was at Eagles HQ for the press conference this morning.
He told Liam Bartlett Rioli will be represented by a local Barrister when he faces court in Darwin tomorrow.
“QC David Grace, who represents the club in most legal maters, he will be in Darwin, he will be in the back of the court.”
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(Photo: Getty Images.)