4th March 2021

AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal’s decision in relation to William Rioli

• AFL confirms that the Anti-Doping Tribunal has imposed a two-year period of ineligibility on William Rioli

The AFL confirms that the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal has imposed a two-year period of ineligibility on William Rioli of the West Coast Eagles and all relevant appeal rights have now expired. The tribunal determined that the two-year suspension period would begin from the date of the initial sample collection (i.e. 20 August 2019), meaning it would expire on 20 August 2021 with Mr Rioli permitted to return to training two months prior to that date (i.e. 20 June 2021). Under strict confidentiality provisions imposed by the WADA Code and the Australian Football Anti-Doping Code, the AFL and other parties were unable to make any public comment in relation to this matter until today.

The Tribunal found that the following three breaches of the Australian Football Anti-Doping Code were proved (largely on admissions made by Mr Rioli):

• Use of a prohibited method by Mr Rioli, namely urine substitution during the course of the doping control/sample collection process on 20 August 2019;
• Presence of the metabolite of a Prohibited Substance (namely cannabis) in a sample collected from Mr Rioli on 5 September 2019;
• Use of a prohibited method by Mr Rioli, namely urine substitution during the doping control/sample collection process on 5 September 2019.

The Tribunal reduced the maximum available period of ineligibility of four years to two years on the basis of the Prompt Admission defence in clause 17.6(c) of the applicable Code, being the maximum available reduction available which the Tribunal considered appropriate in all of the circumstances. Further, the Tribunal found that there were substantial delays in the hearing process or other aspects of doping control that were not attributable to Mr Rioli and on that basis concluded that the period of ineligibility should run from the date of the initial Sample collection (i.e. 20 August 2019).

The Tribunal was constituted by Justice Murray Kellam (Chair) and members Wayne Henwood and Tim Goodwin. The AFL acknowledges the support provided to Mr Rioli by his club, the West Coast Eagles, the AFLPA, and his lawyers throughout this process.

• This media release was published by the Australian Football League (AFL) on 4 March 2021. Click here for the original.

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