Willie Rioli suspended for urine substitution

Willie Rioli. Photo: Getty
Willie Rioli. Photo: Getty

THE West Coast Eagles’ finals campaign is in chaos after Willie Rioli was provisionally suspended for an adverse drug test finding.

Rioli was suspended by the AFL following an Australian Sports Anti-doping Authority (ASADA) drug test last month which found he had used substituted urine.

AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said Rioli was found to have returned an “adverse analytical finding”.

“Following an out-of-competition doping control test, on 20th of August this year, it is asserted that Rioli’s A-sample returned an adverse analytical finding for urine substitution, which is a prohibited method under the code,” Dillon said.

“ASADA informed the AFL yesterday of the results of the testing of the sample, and Rioli was formally notified late last night when he came to Melbourne.

“Rioli will not be eligible to compete in AFL competitions or any WADA-compliant sport, including the WAFL, while provisionally suspended.”

The maximum penalty for the offence is a four-year suspension under the WADA code.

The Eagles are due to take on Geelong in a semi-final at the MCG on Friday night.

Rioli was reportedly rushed away from the team hotel and Jack Petrucelle has flown to Melbourne to replace him.

In a statement the Eagles said they would support Rioli.

“The club is extremely disappointed that one of our players has been provisionally suspended while a matter is being investigated and it will comply fully and openly with ASADA and the AFL through the process,” it said.

“The club is fully committed to supporting Willie during what is a personally distressing time.

“Our primary concern is Willie’s health and welfare.

“As this is an on-going investigation the club, its staff and players can make no further comment until the investigation is completed.

“The West Coast Eagles fully supports the AFL and ASADA in its ideal of our game being drug free.”