Almanac Footy: Gazza and that jab


It’s no great secret that Gazza had an injection/s after injuring his shoulder during the Grand Final and it is standard practice in all football codes for players to receive injections for injuries sustained during a game.

Coincidentally,David Parkin speaking on 774 prior to the Grand Final, went even further and recalled six players receiving injections prior to one of the Grand Finals in which he was involved as a coach.

I have long had an issue with the fact that such medical treatment is not considered performance enhancing. When I have asked this on radio the reply is that it is restoring the player to his natural level of ability. A professional athlete competing at any level would be banned if he required and received similar treatment between the heats and the semis.

The racing industry has a dubious reputation, but has strict protocols in place for treatment of injuries to race horses.
Depending on the treatment a horse cannot race for a specific period and pre-raceday treatment however minor is not allowed.

Following long overdue revelations regarding the diagnosis and treatment of concussion, will this be the next major issue confronting the administrators of the codes for the health and well-being of players, past and present?

Finally, can anyone recall the former Carlton player who sued the club in relation to this issue, which was settled out of court?



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  1. Peter Fuller says

    I think Adrian Whitehead is the Carlton player you are thinking of.

  2. This is a really interesting topic, David.
    And one to which, I believe, major sporting codes have turned a blind eye.
    I agree that it is a major issue whose reckoning is fast approaching.

  3. You make a good point David. Injections should be banned on match days. Its dangerous to mask that level of pain.
    Though I thought the Danger accidentally on purpose “jab” was far more dangerous. He had no need to lead with a stiff arm to punch the ball away. 6 weeks.

  4. Justin Charles is the only AFL found guilty of using a performance-enhancing anabolic steroid. At the time, it was reported Wayne Carey was receiving injections to a treat torn calf muscle. The formula was said to contain a steroid, the same steroid Charles had been using, to help muscle development. In Carey’s case, the treatment was sanctioned by the AFL. Since then I have been cynical of city hall’s approach to pretending to be tough on performance enhancement, sic Essendon supplements et el.
    On Saturday night, would anyone have blamed Richmond players if they had targeted Ablett? He was fair game. Who wold have been held accountable had he been heavily bumped or simply run full tilt into the fence? The use of jabs for what ever reason is questionable and must be investigated and ultimately stopped.

  5. Kate Birrell says

    Has same discussion with my daughter on the night. It was like some miracle had taken place down in the rooms. Can only lead to worsening the injury by masking the pain. He was clearly in agony at the time.. and then towards the end.

  6. Daryl Schramm says

    No jabs of any sort pre or during match. Post match maybe but be prepared to miss a week or two (or more). I’m thinking that would have prevented the Essendon situation as well.
    PB. Bit harsh on Dangerfield I reckon. 6 weeks?

  7. David yes with the legality re concussion surely this is the next point of call and potential legal nightmare.
    PB stunned how any one can’t see that was a unavoidable accidental footy collision thought nothing of it at the time and shaking my head in disbelief having watched it many times since as well

  8. I guess you could same the same thing about taking panadol to kill pain or even naprosyn or celebrex (anti inflammation drugs). We could argue all day.

  9. Thanks for your comment Fisho,but I am specifically referring to professional sports. And WADA allows jabs but not anti-inflams. Go figure

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