The AFL will conduct an independent review of the work, research and advice which has been provided to it by Associate Professor Paul McCrory.
The number one priority of our code is to protect the health and wellbeing of all people who participate in our game and so we have made this decision to hold an independent review following a number of revelations in recent weeks of matters of which the AFL was previously unaware.
These matters include one instance of admitted scientific plagiarism by Associate Professor McCrory and the suggestion of other instances of plagiarism.
They also include the recent revelation that in May 2018, Associate Professor McCrory provided an enforceable undertaking to the Medical Board of Australia that he would not perform neurodiagnostic procedures and/or nerve conduction studies and/or electromyography until approved to do so by the Board. The AFL was not aware of the enforceable undertaking until reported in the media.
While Associate Professor McCrory has no ongoing role with the AFL, was not employed by the AFL and was not the only provider of medical advice on concussion to the AFL, he was an important and long-standing adviser on concussion and he was understood by the AFL to be a pre-eminent expert in the field, including up until recently holding the position as Chair of the Concussion in Sport Group and in that capacity worked previously with many leading national and international professional sporting organisations.
The Concussion in Sport Group has provided many leading sports around the world, including the AFL, with guidance in the translation of evolving research into sport-related concussion and head trauma into practical concussion management protocols.
As is common practice in academic institutions and other organisations in which allegations of plagiarism are made or admitted, the AFL believes it important as a matter of integrity to ascertain the status and the reliability of past research activities and outcomes, and clinical work in which Dr McCrory has been involved for the AFL.
This independent review will be conducted by an independent senior counsel and a professor of medicine experienced in medical and medical research ethics.
Further details of the review will be announced shortly.