The government must address its “long-term failure” to reduce the risk of brain damage in sports, according to a report.
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) committee has called on the government to introduce a UK-wide minimum concussion protocol by July of next year.
The committee report also said that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) should be more closely involved in the sport as currently there is no employer accountability to athletes.
MP Julia Knight, who chaired the committee, said: “We have been shocked by the evidence of athletes who have suffered a head injury, putting their future health on the line for the sake of the UK’s sporting success .
“What is amazing is that when it comes to reducing the risk of brain damage, sport has been allowed to mark its own homework.”
The report said state health and safety protections should apply “as much to footballers and jockeys as to minors and construction workers.”
However, he argued that one of the biggest issues is the uncertainty of who is responsible for the change.
“The change has not happened quickly enough and while the science currently at our disposal describes the problem, it is not providing solutions,” the report said.
It comes almost 20 years after the former England striker Jeff Astle has died at the age of 59, having developed dementia.
The investigation into his death found that the head of thick leather soccer balls had repeatedly contributed to brain trauma, with the pathologist claiming it looked like “a boxer’s brain.”
Lenny Woodward, a former rugby union and rugby union player from Wales, suffered several concussions during his career and was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 45.
He described the diagnosis as a “concern”, but said that after years of not feeling quite well, it was also “relief”.
“What is tragic is [that] it came from the game that I loved and absolutely loved.
“My concern is about …
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This notice was published: 2021-07-22 00:20:00