AFL great Danny Frawley was suffering from the neurological disorder chronic traumatic encephalopathy at the time of his sudden death in September 2019.
Frawley’s wife Anita said an analysis of the former Richmond coach’s brain showed signs of Stage 2 CTE.
The former St Kilda captain died in a car crash, the day after his 56th birthday.
Ms Frawley said the Victorian coroner was yet to release the official report, but she wanted to speak out about it immediately to help others.
“This is an issue for the community. It is not about a particular sport or sports, we need more research to diagnose and assist people living with the disease,” she told the Herald Sun.
“As his wife for over 30 years, I strongly suspected there was more going on with Danny than straightforward depression.
“I am very grateful for the work of the Australian Sports Brain Bank in shining a light on this disease.”
Frawley is the second prominent Australian football figure to be diagnosed with CTE, a degenerative condition linked to concussions and brain trauma.
In February it was revealed legendary Geelong ruckman Graham “Polly” Farmer was suffering from Stage 3 CTE when he died in 2019, following tests on tissue from his brain at Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
CTE can be diagnosed only after a person’s death.
Frawley, also a leading media figure after his coaching career finished, spoke publicly about his mental health battles in years leading up to his death.
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