Trending topics

Select your station

We'll remember your choice for next time

Rioli’s “state of panic” led to sample substitution


Willie Rioli made a panicked split-second decision to tamper with his urine sample when tested by ASADA.

That is the mail SEN news man and Herald Sun journalist Sam Edmund has received in relation to the sensational story surrounding the West Coast Eagles small forward.

Rioli was yesterday suspended provisionally after his ‘A’ sample returned an adverse analytical finding for urine substitution. The maximum penalty for manipulating a urine sample is a four-year ban.

Tim Watson and Edmund discussed the issue on SEN Breakfast this morning, relating to Edmund’s story in the Herald Sun that Rioli "was caught pouring a liquid into a drug-test beaker" in "attempt to dupe anti-doping officers".

Watson said: “You are saying in your story that the substitute, or the attempted substitute, took place under their (testers) nose and they spotted it at the time?

“That this is not a sample that has been taken away and then they’ve gone, ‘hang on…’”

Edmund: “Yes. The report has been filed immediately.

“It’s happened too quickly for that they tell me. If it had gone through the lab, the process is a lot slower.

“The tight turnaround and the mail we received subsequent to that is that, yes, the detectors picked up the substitution in the act of doing the actual test.

“What he’s used, we don’t know. There’s lots of theories going around that he’s put water in, he’s put Gatorade in there. We don’t know how.”

Asked if Rioli had simply panicked because ASADA was undertaking tests for illicit substances, Edmund said: “100 per cent, I think so.

“No one is saying anything around the space that it is performance enhancing. So we are led to believe that it’s an illicit substance of some kind.

“When ASADA test for an illicit substance and you glow, you test positive. There’s not even a strike, it’s a slap on the wrist (if not on game day).

“This wasn’t game day. It was a Tuesday after the West Coast Eagles played Richmond at the MCG. He’s gone from in a state of panic, we think, from no ban whatsoever to a potential four-year ban.

“The people I spoke to yesterday say manipulating a urine sample is just about as serious as it gets. This is bug stuff.”

Rioli is now ineligible to play in West Coast's Semi-Final clash with Geelong tonight and will remain sidelined until the investigation is complete.

West Coast Eagles Willie Rioli

More in AFL