West Coast Eagles’ Elliot Yeo has spoken out as teammate Willie Rioli arrived at a Darwin court on Wednesday to face a drug possession charge after allegedly being caught with cannabis.
NT police allegedly found 25g of the drug while screening the player at Darwin airport on April 23.
“Everyone’s a bit upset for Willie,” Yeo told The Bunch on Wednesday morning.
“Everyone knows the hard work he’s been through over the past two years and then this… I’m sure that he’d be feeling pretty bad and not in the best of places,” referring to Rioli being found guilty of substituting his urine during two separate anti-doping drug tests, where he copped a two-year ban instead of a possible four-year suspension.
Rioli had been given permission to train with West Coast from June 20 and resume playing on August 20.
“The club and the playing group are just waiting to see what the court hearing is,” Yeo added.
“From that point on, I guess we’ll make a decision in terms of what we’re going to do, at this point we’re just sitting tight.”
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On Tuesday, Eagles boss Craig Vozzo said Rioli didn’t let the club know that he had been charged with possession, and that the premiership forward is now walking a “fine line” in terms of his AFL career, and that the club now “questions the degree in which you can trust him”.
Vozzo said Rioli was feeling shame and embarrassment over the incident.
“He’s a mess, he’s gutted,” Vozzo said.
“At this stage we are supporting him.”