Sumich defends Rioli comments following Eagles backlash

SEN - Tue, 17th Sep 2019 - 0 Comments

Peter Sumich has defended comments he made regarding Willie Rioli and the West Coast Eagles, following a negative reaction from the club.

The club legend told 6PR that “there’s got to be something else going on with other players because you can’t just have an isolated incident with this”.

This is in response to Rioli being under investigation by WADA for tampering with a urine test. He faces a four-year suspension for the breach.

Eagles coach Adam Simpson took issue with Sumich’s comments.

“It’s disappointing you can compare the two and automatically switch to something that happened 12 years ago. What we’ve initially heard has happened with Willie is a completely different situation,” Simpson told Channel Seven.

“I’m really disappointed in those comments. For someone who hasn’t been at the club for 10 years, it’s a bit of an insult to the people who have done all of the work to create a really strong culture that’s got a really good pedigree with how they’ve dealt with themselves in the last five or six years in particular.”

However, Sumich says his comments have been taken out of context and that he was not referring to West Coast specifically.

“I heard those comments and I understand Simmo’s frustration probably with my points, but I think it was all being misled a bit,” he told SEN Breakfast.

“The comment about Willie was – if he did tamper with it, he could be in trouble, I did say that.

“The other stuff wasn’t about West Coast. It was about the whole competition and my knowledge going back a few years that if a player has tested positive there’s normally more to it and that was a broad thing, it wasn’t targeted at West Coast.

“I think that’s been blown up, I never said West Coast in those comments, it was more about my knowledge of the competition going back in 2007 where we went through that Ben Cousins issue where if there was one that’s tested positive, normally there will be some more.

“Unfortunately West Coast and Adam have taken it the wrong way, but I can’t take that back so we all move on. I’m not going to go back at West Coast.

“He’s made his comments Simmo and he’s got to live by that, and I’ve got to live by mine.”