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In rugby, awareness of player concussions



The figures are alarming. According to a study by a team from the University of Glasgow, in October 2022, former rugby players are two and a half times more likely than the general population to develop neurodegenerative diseases. The researchers looked at 412 former Scottish rugby internationals before comparing them to 1,200 people from the general population. They reveal, for example, that the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease is three times higher.

In recent decades, professional rugby has shifted towards a more physical and faster game. Players have gained muscle mass, making shocks particularly violent, and concussions more frequent. But until a few years ago, few people took into account the severity and duration of symptoms. “There has always been this tradition, like in war: if you haven’t had your face torn off by a shell, it’s because you’re fit for combat. Looking more closely, we realize that it is still much more complex »analyzes Jean-François Chermann, neurologist, specialist in France for concussions in athletes.

Changing mindsets

According to this amateur player, rugby is not dangerous, but should be practiced with caution. This requires medical supervision, at all levels, which he helped to put in place. “We voted for the HIA criteria in 2013”, he recalls. These evaluation criteria following a head injury, dubbed “concussion protocol” in France, were developed to “Improve the management of head injuries”especially in cases where “the diagnosis is not immediately apparent”, says World Rugby. In addition to this medical framework, there is a framework for the rules. “There has been a total reform on the entry into the scrum, or on the way of making the keys, for example”, reminds the specialist.

Finally, the doctor notes a precious change in mentalities. “At the time, we had a real underestimation of the troubles, the players did not want to hear about it and participated in this omerta. »

The amateur world must progress

Since then, many cases of players having attacked their clubs in court for negligence have contributed to this increased vigilance by sports authorities. Last case to date, the rugby player Alexandre Lapandry, who suffers from the after-effects of a stroke following shocks. In December 2022, he filed several complaints against ASM Clermont-Auvergne, in particular for endangering the lives of others.

The evolutions of professional rugby must now spread to the amateur world. Today, 50% of concussed athletes, all sports combined, remain on the playing area. In rugby, since the HIA protocols, this figure has fallen from 50% to 18%. Other initiatives are emerging: the neurosurgeon David Brauge has established a protocol, after a concussion, intended for all general practitioners. The idea is to rely on this local network of caregivers accessible to all amateurs in the country.

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Sports

Tour de France 2020: abandonment of Romain Bardet, victim of a concussion



Romain Bardet, the best French chance for the general classification after the fall of Thibaut Pinot in the first stage, had to abandon the Tour de France on Friday evening September 11, suffering from a concussion after falling in a downhill during the 13th step.

The Auvergne runner took exams at Clermont-Ferrand University Hospital after the finish of the race at Puy Mary (Cantal). He occupied 11th place in the general classification. “The fall was violent, downhill, and I struggled all day, said Romain Bardet. The medical examinations confirmed what I had foreseen and I am not able to continue the race ”.

→ MAINTENANCE. Romain Bardet: “You have to go to the end of your abilities, then accept your destiny”

Second in the Tour in 2016 and third in 2017, Romain Bardet was the best French chance for the general classification after the fall of Thibaut Pinot in Nice. His retirement is the first of his career in the Tour de France in which he has participated every year since his first participation in 2013.

Date of resumption of competition according to the evolution

Winner of several mountain stages in previous years, he brought back the polka-dot jersey for the best climber last year on the Champs-Élysées. “Romain had a brain scan which did not reveal any lesion”, said Dr Eric Bouvat, doctor of the French team. However, he must stop his sports activities. His date of resumption of the competition will be defined according to the evolution ”.

→ ROUTE. Tour de France 2020: the map of stages

The start of the 13e stage was given in Châtel-Guyon (Puy-de-Dôme), near his place of residence in the vicinity of Clermont-Ferrand. The arrival was judged at Puy Mary which he described on Friday morning as “A great spot”, “One of my favorite places”.

At the start of the race, he met his wife Amandine and his first child Angus, born during confinement, on the side of the road. “The legs are one thing, success is something else, he admitted before this step. It’s OK for now. But there is a part of fatality in this “.

A fall of 65 km / hour

Romain Bardet fell at the 100th kilometer of the route of the 13e 191.5 km stage, at the same time as the Dutchman Bauke Mollema, soon forced to retire (fracture of the left wrist), and other riders including the Colombian Nairo Quintana. Stunned, his right hip raw, he got back on the bike to take his place in the peloton and finish the stage.

→ THE FACTS. Tour de France 2020: Daniel Martinez wins in the 13th stage

If he was left behind on the ramps of the last two climbs, the Frenchman managed to limit the loss of time in the general classification, falling from fourth to eleventh place, three minutes from the wearer of the yellow jersey, the Slovenian Primoz Roglic.

The fall occurred in a wide downhill curve, at a speed of 65 km / h according to the details he gave on arrival. “At this speed, it’s not a harmless fall”, had reacted in race his sports director Julien Jurdie.

“I was cursed today”

“It couldn’t be worse todaysaid the runner after the finish. I stumbled and hit my head. I struggled to find my senses instantly. I have severe pain in my right leg. I lost all my feelings in my fall, I was cursed today ”.

→ DOSSIER. Tour de France 2020: all the information to follow this 107e editing

Romain Bardet’s 8th Tour de France, his last under the colors of the AG2R La Mondiale team for which he has been racing since his debut, therefore ended prematurely. Next year, the native of Brioude (Haute-Loire) will run for the German team Sunweb.

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