Rioli escapes conviction
West Coast Eagles premiership forward Willie Rioli has been handed a 12 month good behaviour bond after pleading guilty to drug possession in the Northern Territory.
25 year old Rioli was charged with stashing 25 grams of cannabis in his pants while on board a charter flight from Darwin to the Tiwi Islands.
No conviction was recorded, but his AFL future hangs in the balance after his latest indiscretion.
Rioli was banned for two years for tampering with a urine sample in September 2019, with that suspension set to end in August of this year.
The Eagles will now make a decision on whether to terminate Rioli's contract, or work with the troubled forward to keep him at the club.
Eagles football operations manager Craig Vozzo said on Tuesday the club would support Rioli while they wait for the court result.
Rioli pleaded guilty to the charge of possessing a schedule 2 dangerous drug of less than a trafficable quantity.
"Shame, loss, humiliation, grief. That's how Mr Rioli feels," lawyer Mark Thomas said during sentencing submissions.
"He is truly ashamed and regretful for what has occurred. Your Honour has a trite and humble young man before you."
He said Rioli had suffered a national humiliation after his case became public due to "an arsenal" of media reporting.
Mr Thomas asked for a fine but not a conviction, saying it may put his AFL career in jeopardy.
Magistrate Michael Carey placed him on a 12-month $500 good behaviour bond with no conviction.