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We need to protect all athletes from CTE, say Greens

Media Release
Lidia Thorpe 7 Apr 2022

“We need to protect all athletes from CTE: chronic traumatic encephalopathy,” said The Greens spokesperson for Sport, Senator Lidia Thorpe. CTE is a neurodegenerative condition linked to repeated head traumas including concussion.

This comes as a leading researcher into concussion in sport has claimed the AFL hindered a two-year-study into the long-term health impacts on its players. Senator Thorpe has joined Associate Prof Alan Pearce’s call for the AFL to be more transparent over its research. 

The following lines are attributable to Senator Lidia Thorpe:

“Sportspeople at all levels must be informed about the symptoms of CTE and encouraged to speak up if they experience any symptoms, they can’t be penalised for reaching out for support.”

“The AFL must be transparent about the evidence that informs the league’s concussion policies and set the standard for community sports to follow.”

“CTE was found in more than half of the sportspeople who donated their brains to the Australian Sports Brain Bank. Research found that amateur athletes face the same risk as professional sportspeople. The Greens are calling for community and professional sports associations, as well as our colleagues in policy-making, to make sports safer”. 

“Symptoms of CTE include cognitive impairment, impulsive behaviour, depression, suicidal thoughts, short-term memory loss and emotional instability. Our athletes deserve better than this.”

“Noongar man Graham Farmer was one of the greatest players in AFL history. Unfortunately, he was also the first AFL player diagnosed with CTE. We need to make sure we don’t have a new generation of athletes carrying the same injury.”

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