Jeremy Cameron’s controversial concussion call won’t result in AFL introducing independent doctors

Jeremy Cameron’s controversial concussion call won’t result in AFL introducing independent doctors
  • PublishedMay 14, 2024

AFL boss Andrew Dillon has rejected calls for independent doctors to be used to assess players for concussion during matches after Geelong forward Jeremy Cameron suffered delayed symptoms a day after he played.

Cameron’s head struck the ground with force after a marking contest late in his side’s narrow loss to Port Adelaide on Friday night.

The Cats ace didn’t leave the field for assessment, with Geelong’s doctor performing tests on-field as play continued.

Cameron was cleared of any concussion and played out the game.

But the next day, Cameron reported delayed symptoms and was subsequently placed under the AFL’s concussion protocols, and will miss Geelong’s clash against the Gold Coast on Thursday night.

Dillon said he was satisfied with the handling of the incident despite Cameron being placed in concussion protocols after being allowed to play on by a club doctor.

“The Geelong doctor, who’s really experienced and really good at what he does, he was able to be out there, conduct the assessment that he had to do, and it was all in accordance with the protocol,” the CEO told reporters on Monday.

“So what I’m comfortable with is that the protocols were followed and they continue to be followed.”

Some commentators have suggested independent doctors be used at all matches to avoid potential conflicts of interest from medicos employed by clubs.

But Dillon said he was against that concept

“We have got doctors at the clubs and I don’t think they need to be independent because (they) have got the best interest of the players (in mind),” Dillon said.

“That’s what they’re employed to do and that’s what they do.”

Dillon described the AFL’s protocols, which demand a 12-day break from training and playing for any concussed player, as world-leading.

“What we do have is some of the most stringent and well-thought-out concussion protocols in not only sport in Australia, but in world sport,” he said.

“I’m really comfortable with the protocols that we’ve got.

AFL CEO Andrew Dillon speaks to the media next to the premiership cup
Andrew Dillon has rejected calls for independent doctors to assess players for concussion, and extra time for matches that end in draws.(Getty Images: Michael Willson/AFL Photos)

“We’ve also got really experienced medical health professionals at the clubs, and also at AFL House, looking after the health and safety of the players.

“We will continue to refine those protocols but I’m comfortable with how it was handled on the weekend and comfortable with the protocols.”

Dillon also rejected introducing extra time to decide home-and-away games that end in a draw, as Adelaide’s home game against the Brisbane Lions did on Sunday.

“The draw has been a part of our game for a long time,” he said.

“If you play four quarters of 120 minutes-plus of football and the teams can be split, (a draw) is a fitting outcome for the home-and-away season.”

Added time is only used AFL finals.


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