24-year-old Willie Rioli has spoken publicly for the first time since his provisional suspension from the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) for tampering with a urine sample.
Speaking to Nine News‘ Elle Conway this week immediately after training with St Mary’s Football Club in Darwin, Rioli said, “I’m just a bit embarrassed, you know… I just want to let everything work itself out.”
“I’ve got great support here (and) I’ve been proving doubters my whole life, so I’ll definitely come back bigger and better,” he added.
Rioli is provisionally banned from playing football at any level, after ASADA alleged that on August 20 he replaced a urine sample with a sports drink. He then tested positive for cannabis on September 5, but can only be found guilty for one of the two findings.
“Everything will take place over time (and) I’ve got no timing on it as well,” he said.
“Yeah, good to be back home… good being back here. I’ve got all the support I need up here and everything will work its way through.”
As for his playing future, Rioli said, “I’ve got no time-frame on anything. I just… wanna keep training and keep improving, so yeah, that’s all I can say.”
West Coast recruited Rioli from Glenelg in 2016 with their pick number 52. He has played 38 AFL games, kicked 46 goals and played in The Eagles’ 2018 premiership, the same year he won their Emerging Talent award.