AFL player Willie Rioli has waited until the final moments of the season to announce himself to the judges of The Frownlow Medal. Rioli earned his late nomination after testing positive to cannabis and embroiling himself in a controversy with drug testing authorities.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015 and code-swapper Karmichael Hunt was the most recent recipient.
Rioli is reported to have tested positive to cannabis, which may carry a lengthy ban from the AFL, after he had already become involved in a controversial incident in which he is accused of tampering with a urine sample during a routine drug test.
The West Coast Eagles players has now had his name added to the list of players invited to the upcoming Frownlow awards night, and organisers have been ordered to provide extra pies and sausage rolls for his table, in case he gets the munchies.
It is on this night that Rioli will find out of he has won the most prestigious award in Australian sport, The Frownlow Medal.