Rioli's drugs case verdict lays with AFL

·1-min read

Australian sport's anti-doping agency is distancing itself from the delay in a verdict in the drugs case of AFL player Willie Rioli.

Sport Integrity Australia, formerly known as ASADA, says it has no powers to announce the outcome of Rioli's case or sanction the West Coast player.

Rioli has been provisionally suspended by the AFL for the past 17 months.

The 25-year-old is facing a ban of up to four years for alleged urine substitution during a routine anti-doping test performed by ASADA in 2019.

Rioli faced the AFL's Anti-Doping Tribunal in December last year but is still awaiting a verdict.

West Coast fans have launched a petition, which has attracted more than 2400 signatures, demanding Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) ensure a verdict is handed down soon.

But SIA chief executive David Sharpe says that is beyond the scope of his organisation, which can't sanction athletes.

Sharpe says the public announcement of a verdict lays with the AFL's Anti-Doping Tribunal.

"Anti-doping cases can be incredibly complex and it is imperative that the proper procedures are followed in reaching any resolution," Sharpe said in a statement on Thursday.

"The length of time taken for any particular anti-doping case to reach its conclusion is dependent on a wide variety of factors.

"These can range from delays in scientific analysis due to technical requirements through to requests from athletes for additional time to prepare their case."

West Coast coach Adam Simpson has previously expressed concern about Rioli's mental health during the drawn-out process.