West Coast Eagles’ forward Willie Rioli has been hit with a two-year suspension for substituting a urine sample during a drug test in 2019.
- Backdating of the penalty means Rioli can return to the field in August
- It has been 18 months since the premiership forward played at AFL level
- The 25-year-old faced a maximum four-year ban
Rioli will be eligible to return to football for the West Coast Eagles this season, after the AFL confirmed the premiership player’s suspension had been backdated.
The backdating of the penalty means Rioli will be eligible to play from August and will be permitted to return to Eagles training in June.
Rioli was provisionally suspended during the 2019 AFL finals campaign after allegedly tampering with the sample, and tested positive to cannabis a fortnight later.
It has been 18 months since the small forward last played at AFL level.
He has been spending time with his family in the Tiwi Islands while awaiting the final verdict.
The Eagles and the AFL have previously expressed frustration with how long the process has taken, with Rioli’s wait for an outcome from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority approaching a year and a half.
Rioli, 25, had faced a maximum four-year ban.
More to come.