Swans cleared by AFL over Kennedy test

The AFL says Sydney did not break any rules when they cleared onballer Josh Kennedy to return to the field after undergoing a concussion test in Saturday’s qualifying final.

Kennedy was checked by doctors but allowed to play on after copping a shoulder bump to the head from Greater Western Sydney forward Steve Johnson in the first quarter of the ANZ Stadium clash.

The Swans were asked to provide more information about the incident but AFL football operations manager Mark Evans on Thursday said the club had not breached the rules.

Evans said Kennedy had passed concussion tests during and after the game and had shown no ill effects since.

The Swans told the AFL they were unable to immediately access footage of the incident on the interchange bench due to technical issues, and had also been managing an injury to ruckman Kurt Tippett at the time.

The AFL intends to expand the Hawkeye medical system to all major venues next year to help clubs immediately assess injuries after successful trials at the MCG and Etihad Stadium.

Johnson accepted a one-week suspension over the careless bump on Kennedy and will miss the Giants’ September 24 preliminary final against either Hawthorn or the Western Bulldogs at Spotless Stadium.

Concussion has become an increasingly-important issue in contact sports worldwide.

The AFL fined Port Adelaide $20,000 in July after it ruled the Power let Hamish Hartlett return to the field too quickly after a head knock.

Half the fine was suspended until the end of the 2018 season.

It is understood the AFL has also formally asked other clubs to outline how they have handled concussion tests.

The AFL’s 2015 injury survey showed games missed due to concussion continue to soar as clubs become more conservative about how they manage head knocks.

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