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SBD Global/March 11, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Australia Asseses Head Injuries After Former AFL Player Blames Sport For Brain Disease

Concern over sports-related concussions has spread to Australia, where a former Aussie rules football players said that "he has a degenerative brain disease after having sustained four serious head injuries during his career," according to the AP. Representatives of the four main variations of football in this country -- Aussie rules, rugby league, rugby union and football -- "will take part in a two-day conference this month to discuss the long-term effects of brain injuries to their athletes." Deakin University in Melbourne "has begun a study involving 30 Australian Football League and National Rugby League players." Dr. Alan Pearce, who is directing the study, said that "there are valid comparisons in Australia with the NFL." Pearce said, "To put it into context, some have said the AFL cannot have a similar problem as the NFL, but the situation is similar. We are seeing similar long-term effects on some of the players." A Concussion in Sport conference to be held in Melbourne on March 20-21 "will discuss the possible introduction of helmets for players" (AP, 3/9).
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