A former AFL winger has dropped a bombshell on the AFL, claiming former concussion expert Paul McCrory downplayed the brain injuries that cut short his career.

Kade Kolodjashnij, who played for Gold Coast and Melbourne, believes McCrory “minimised” the head trauma he suffered, before he retired from the game in 2020 at just 24 years of age.

An investigation is under way into whether McCrory treated players for concussion after 2018 despite an agreed Australian medical ban.

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Kolodjashnij has recalled the treatment he received from McCrory in 2017, after three concussions in a week.

He underwent brain scans before sitting out the rest of the season.

Gold Coast Suns’ Kade Kolodjashnij leaves on the medi cab. Picture: Colleen Petch.Source: News Corp Australia

But he returned to McCrory after more head trauma in 2018, where he was told his injury was “neck related”.

“He was gobsmacked to be told his issues were only neck-related,” journalist Jon Ralph said On The Couch.

“He believes there were people there that were minimising his concussion because they didn’t want to know about it.”

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Kolodjashnij said he expected McCrory to sideline him, but claims he was told he could play on.

“I couldn’t get out of bed, couldn’t get to the supermarket, couldn’t even have light walks without headaches and dizziness,” he told Ralph.

Kolodjashnij went on to play four late season games before crossing to Melbourne.

But an early blow in pre-season left him unable to get out of bed.

Kolodjashnij told Ralph he had “several meetings” with AFL-linked concussion experts before trusting his gut.

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“I opted not to see Paul again because I didn’t trust his advice. I had that gut instinct,” he said.

On The Couch host Garry Lyon described Kolodjashnij’s claims as “explosive”.

“Players like Kolodjashnij needed the best possible care,” Ralph said.

The former winger told Ralph he is now battling anxiety and mental health concerns.

The AFL’s review into McCrory is ongoing.      

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