US expert tells long-delayed hearing into death of former Richmond player that NFL has achieved ‘dramatic’ reduction in head impacts

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The AFL should consider following the lead of American football in “severely limiting full contact practices” to “dramatically reduce the risk” of players developing neurodegenerative disease, a US expert has told the first hearing of the inquest into the death of the late AFL player, Shane Tuck.

Tuck played 173 games for Richmond Football Club between 2004 and 2013, and later had a brief boxing career, from 2015 to 2017. He killed himself at the age of 38 in July 2020. After his death, he was found by the Australian Sports Brain Bank to have suffered from severe chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the debilitating degenerative brain disease caused by repeated head trauma and increasingly linked to long-term exposure to contact sports. It can only be definitively diagnosed after death.

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