Richmond CEO Brendon Gale says the club is “appalled at the suggestion” made in court about how medical staff acted towards former Tiger Shane Tuck.
Tuck, who took his own life last year, was deemed to have had a severe case of degenerative brain disease CTE following an autopsy, which was revealed earlier this year by the Australian Sports Brain Bank.
CTE is a brain condition associated with repeated concussions.
The Age reports that at a hearing at the Victorian Coroners Court today, Greg Griffin, the lawyer of Tuck’s widow, Katherine Tuck, urged Coroner John Cain to look into how the former Richmond player was looked after during his 173-game career between 2004 and 2013.
Tuck also had a brief boxing stint following his AFL career.
“We would ask your honour in the course of the coronial investigation to perhaps look at the sins of the past to see how they can’t be repeated,” Mr Griffin said.
“For the widow and many, many AFL footballers who are watching this outcome with great interest … it is imperative for the coronial investigation to focus on what actually did occur at the Richmond Football Club and in other AFL clubs during that nine-year period [when Tuck played AFL].”
In response to Mr Griffin, the coroner said that he was “far more interested in what the current state of play is in relation to the management of concussion and head knocks in the AFL and boxing”.
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The Richmond CEO released a statement tonight in defence of his club’s medical staff.
“We feel compelled to defend the highly professional medical staff that managed Shane Tuck throughout his career in the wake of the inflammatory allegations made at a coronial investigation today,” Gale said.
“We are appalled at the suggestion our medical staff acted in a negligent or unethical way. We stand behind those medical staff who acted to the highest professional standards, and in the best interests of Shane during his career.”
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