West Coast Eagles star Willie Rioli is set to finally have his case heard as the club continues to work through the legal process, West Coast’s General Manager of football, Craig Vozzo, has said.
Appearing on SEN’s Dwayne’s World on Wednesday, Vozzo told host Dwayne Russell the club is expecting a hearing “later in the year”.
“We are just working through the pre-hearing document side of things where you lodge the appropriate position and response,” Vozzo said.
“QC David Grace is handling that for us and for Willie. They are just in the middle of that paper trail and hopefully we’ll have a hearing date later in the year.”
Rioli has been suspended for over a year after allegedly tampering with a urine sample and testing positive for cannabis use during a routine drug test.
Many have said the delayed hearing has been too long, including Indigenous Players Alliance Chair, Des Headland, who said Rioli had been “left out to dry”.
Upon hearing Rioli’s case will likely be heard by the year’s end, Headland said there’s “still a long way to go”.
“Until there’s a locked in opportunity to have his case heard … there’s still no certainty,” he said.
“Obviously, Willie’s still sitting up north [in the Tiwi Islands] not knowing what’s happening with his career and his life.
“It’s good they’ve heard something, that there’s something lodged and in place, but you need guarantee and certainty on what that is and how it’s going to look.
“This is just the next step to closure, hopefully.”
By Hannah Cross