Rioli arrested for drug possession
2018 West Coast Eagles premiership player Willie Rioli is in hot water again, set to face court in Darwin on Wednesday after being charged with drug possession last month.
Rioli is three months away from his scheduled return to football but has been charged with possessing a schedule 2 dangerous drug less than trafficable quantity, in a public place.
West Coast CEO Trevor Nisbett addressed the players about the issue on Tuesday morning and Eagles football manager Craig Vozzo said everyone felt a mixture of shock, anger and sadness.
He said the club would wait until after Rioli’s court hearing to make any decisions but admitted his career is on the line.
“It’s definitely in that category,” Vozzo said at a press conference.
“We need to deal with the facts and the outcome from a legal process point of view. We need to find out where that lands, exactly what’s involved and what the court determines before we make a decision.
“It’s a very fine line that he’s run with these allegations for sure.
“We won’t be making anything in a rushed way. We’ll be doing it in a calm way once we know all the information, including the decision of the court and Willie’s version of the events.”
The club has long backed the 2018 premiership player, who had been planning to return to Eagles training on June 20 ahead of the expiration of his ban on August 20.
Vozzo said Rioli was struggling in the aftermath of the incident.
“He’s a mess. He’s gutted,” Vozzo said.
“He’s not in a good space.”
The ban comes to an end after a back-dated two-year suspension from playing AFL football due to tampering with a urine sample stemming from an an out-of-competition ASADA test.
It was alleged that the small forward supplied something other than urine in the test.
Two weeks later, following an elimination final win over Essendon, Rioli also provided a positive test for a “metabolite of cannabis”.
Rioli was immediately suspended from playing and had to wait more than 18 months to learn his fate before being issued a backdated two-year ban in March this year.
IMAGE: Fox Sports.