THE MATCH REVIEW PANEL places too much emphasis on medical reports, according to Richmond star Jack Riewoldt, leading to similar on-field actions being punished inconsistently.
Melbourne pair Jordan Lewis and Jesse Hogan were this week slapped with heavy bans for crude hits, with medical reports from Carlton playing a crucial role in the verdicts.
Lewis was suspended for three matches for a strike that left Blues midfielder Patrick Cripps with a small hairline fracture in his jaw, while Hogan accepted a two-game ban for an open-palm strike on defender Sam Rowe that caused late-onset concussion.
Carlton presented a clear summary of both players' medical circumstances to the MRP on Monday, ultimately convincing the Panel to grade the impact of both strikes as medium.
A maximum impact grading of high is typically reserved for displaced fractures and, increasingly, for concussion. The MRP can also upgrade impact as it sees fit, based on the risk of serious injury.
Riewoldt said the focus on medical reports when setting MRP penalties was a grey area that led to similar actions being punished differently.
"I'd say that too much is put into the medical report," the star forward said on Fox Footy.
"Some people's jaws are stronger than (other) people's jaws. It's a really grey area.
"Some people get injured through one action, and then the next week you have the exact same action and come up with a different consequence."
A medical report from Sydney was used by the MRP last year in a controversial case that saw Steve Johnson miss Greater Western Sydney's preliminary final against the Western Bulldogs for a high bump on Josh Kennedy.
The report indicated that Kennedy passed a concussion test when he came from the ground, and again post-game, meaning Johnson's hit was graded medium and not high.