Rioli to train despite suspension
West Coast Eagles forward Willie Rioli has resumed training with the team this week after he was provisionally suspended for allegedly tampering with a urine sample last year.
In a statement made by the club, Rioli’s return to training is consistent with the “terms of his provisional suspension which permits him to train”.
“The Club has worked closely with Rioli on the timing of his return, ensuring he was in the right frame of mind to resume in the AFL environment despite the process not yet being complete,” the statement read.
Rioli said he was happy to have returned and has enjoyed support from the club since the suspension at the end of last year.
“It’s good to be back at the club and to see my teammates and staff … The club has been really supportive over the past four months.”
The star forward also tested positive for a cannabis metabolite weeks after the alleged tampering incident in August 2019.
However, it is the urine tampering incident that carries a four-year ban, which if received will all but ruin Rioli’s career.
As the investigation is ongoing Rioli is not making any comment but said he is acting in total cooperation.
“I have been cooperating fully with the ongoing investigation and I will continue to do so. I cannot discuss any of the details. I am looking forward to getting back to some training,” Rioli said.
While on suspension, the Eagles forward spent time with family in the Northern Territory and Tiwi Islands.
Despite the ongoing investigation and suspension Rioli has a spot in the team’s 2020 playing list.
By Caris Duncan