The Australian Sports Brain Bank, the founding member of the CLF Global Brain Bank
, diagnosed the disease in the brain of legendary Australian rules football player Graham 'Polly' Farmer. Farmer, who died in August, was one of the greatest players in history.
Australian rules football is considered the country's national sport, and an estimated 1.5 million Australians play the game. The discovery raises concerns over how AFL and Australian rules football leadership is approaching the issue of brain trauma to current and former players.
Australian Sports Brain Bank director Dr. Michael Buckland and his co-authors described CTE as an “occupational health issue” for those playing collision sports. “That CTE exists at all should serve as a call to action to recognize and research CTE and the very clear association with a repetitive head injury...Claims of a lack of demonstrated ‘causality’ are unhelpful, and arguably irrelevant when assessing a public and occupational health issue as CTE.”