West Coast Eagles star Willie Rioli finally faced the AFL anti-doping tribunal in Victoria on Wednesday after over a year’s suspension.
Staying with his young family in the Tiwi Islands during the interim, Rioli tuned in from Darwin via video link.
He was stood down on September 12, 2019 after allegedly tampering with a urine sample in August and testing positive to cannabis September 5.
In a short statement, the West Coast Eagles said a decision would be made at a later date.
“The West Coast Eagles can confirm Willie Rioli today appeared via video link from Darwin at an AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal hearing in Melbourne,” the club said.
“The hearing was completed but the outcome will not be known for some time, and until a conclusion has been reached neither the club nor Willie can make any comment.
“Under the AFL Anti-Doping Policy, all proceedings before the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal are confidential and the outcome will be published by the AFL in due course.”
This comes after Dean Rioli published a heartfelt open letter to the AFL in support of his cousin.
“It has been 15 months since Willie received the notice that he is to be suspended and while I agree that ignorance is not an excuse and he had to accept the punishment that was to follow, I am deeply disappointed that he has been left out in the wilderness and uncertain of where his future lies,” wrote Rioli.
“I ask that you please step in and place your support behind Willie and show that the AFL fights for people in their system and supports their people who have made mistakes and deserve a second chance.”
By Rachael Knowles