Willie Rioli remains in limbo as Eagles deliberate on AFL star’s future

West Coast coach Adam Simpson says there is no guarantee the club will decide on the AFL future of banned goalsneak Willie Rioli this week.

Rioli’s future hangs in the balance after he was found with 24.23g of cannabis during a screening at Darwin airport on 23 April.

He failed to inform the Eagles about the incident, with the club only finding out when contacted by a journalist earlier this month.

Rioli’s two-year ban for twice substituting urine during an anti-doping test is due to expire on 20 August, but whether he graces an AFL field again remains to be seen.

The Eagles initially planned to make a decision on Rioli this week, but the matter could stretch into next week.

“It’s quite complex to work through,” Simpson said on Thursday. “There’s a few things we’ve got to work through still. The timeline is a difficult one because you’re dealing with more than just one person. There’s a fair few people we need to deal with.”

Simpson understands any delay in a decision could impact on the mental health of Rioli, but said the Eagles need to take their time to make the right call.

“I’ve got a lot of empathy for Willie and what he’s going through but it’s also self-inflicted as well,” Simpson said. “Unfortunately he’s put himself in this position and now we’ve got to get it right. I think he understands that.

“I don’t make the decision so it’s out of my hands. The earlier the better, but we’ve got to make the right call at the right time.”