Willie Rioli learns his fate on doping saga
West Coast Eagles star Willie Rioli has finally learnt his fate and has been handed a two-year ban for allegedly tampering with a drug sample.
The ban will be back-dated to his last game, meaning Rioli will be able to return to training from June 20.
He will be eligible to play from August 20.
Rioli has been waiting almost three months for a verdict, after fronting the AFL’s anti-doping tribunal on December 16.
The club released a statement this afternoon saying they’re pleased Rioli will be able to play this year.
“While the process in this matter has been long, it has been thorough,” the statement reads.
“The AFLPA and West Coast are comfortable that Willie received a fair hearing and thanks the appointed Tribunal members for carefully considering the facts presented by Willie’s legal team.”
The Eagles star played his last game with the team in 2019 during an elimination final against Essendon.
Former West Coast Eagles’ premiership defender and former teammate of Willie Rioli, Will Schofield, told Perth Live’s Oliver Peterson that he thinks Rioli will be happy to finally know his fate.
“He’s a footballer at heart so he’s gonna get the opportunity to get back and play some footy which I think is the most important thing for Willie.”
Schofield admitted there’s always going to be mistakes in these situations but says players receive a lot of education on the matter.
“We’re educated… guys are taught right and wrong and some areas are black and white and some areas aren’t.”
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West Coast Eagles Chief Executive Officer Trevor Nisbett held a press conference this afternoon.
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