Richmond have responded to “inflammatory allegations” made against the AFL club’s medical staff during a coronial investigation into the death of Shane Tuck.
The former Tigers player died last year aged 38 after battling mental health issues.
Coroner John Cain was told on Tuesday that Tuck was allowed to keep playing with numerous concussions.
It was also alleged Tuck was treated poorly by Richmond club doctors.
“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,” Richmond said in a statement.
“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.”
An autopsy found that Tuck had severe chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which can only be diagnosed after death.
The debilitating neurological condition, which is linked to head trauma, has also been diagnosed posthumously in fellow former VFL/AFL players Graham ‘Polly’ Farmer, Danny Frawley and Murray Weideman.
Cain said on Tuesday he intended to look at the concussion policies and protocols for the AFL and boxing, according to multiple media reports.
After playing 173 senior games for Richmond, Tuck briefly took up boxing until 2017.
Amid growing global concerns about the long-term health effects of concussion in sport, the AFL and AFLW strengthened their protocols at the start of the year.
Concussed players must have at least 12 days off under the guidelines, which also extend to state and local leagues.
A class action on behalf of concussed AFL players is being planned.
Greg Griffin, managing partner of Griffins Lawyers, has said he has been preparing a class action against the AFL for several years.
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