Banned AFL star Willie Rioli will face court in Darwin on Wednesday after allegedly being caught in possession of cannabis.

The West Coast goal-kicker was just six weeks away from returning to football following a two-year doping ban - but those plans have been plunged into uncertainty.

Northern Territory Police last month released a statement confirming a detection dog was conducting screening operations at Darwin Airport when 25 grams of cannabis was allegedly found in Rioli's pants. He had been scheduled to fly to the Tiwi Islands that day.

Northern Territory local court lists show the 25-year-old is charged with possessing a schedule 2 dangerous drug in a quantity less than trafficable (less than 50 grams) in a public place.

Reports on Tuesday claimed the Eagles were aware Rioli's situation.

 

Willie Rioli has not played since 2019.
Willie Rioli has not played since 2019.

It comes after Rioli was just months away from returning to the AFL after two years in exile.

He was in March handed a two-year ban, back-dated to the time he accepted a provisional suspension in 2019 following an investigation by Sports Integrity Australia.

He had been facing a potential four-year ban. But a surprise verdict announced by the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal in March revealed he was able to return to play for the Eagles as early as August and had been cleared to return to training with the club from June 20.

The AFL confirmed in September, 2019, Rioli tested positive for a metabolite of cannabis two weeks after being stood down for reportedly tampering with his own drugs test.

He remains contracted with West Coast through to the end of the 2022 AFL season

Originally published as AFL star to face court on drug charge



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