AFL reporter Sam McClure has been stripped of his prestigious sports news Quill Award amid fallout from coverage of the Adelaide Crows’ controversial 2018 pre-season training camp.
McClure wrote an article for The Age in 2020 which provided intricate alleged details about the camp, first revealed by foxfooty.com.au, which was run by mindset training specialists Collective Mind and resulted in legal action from the Queensland-based company.
While The Age issued an apology this month to Collective Mind, the Melbourne Press Club board voted unanimously last week to have McClure’s award ‘cancelled’.
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Neither the Walkleys nor the Victoria Quills have ever retrospectively voided a winner’s trophy.
Collective Mind operators Derek Leddie and Amon Woulfe have brought a libel suit against McClure, the former football editor of The Age Caroline Wilson, The Age and Nine over allegations relating to camp details.
“The Age recognizes that the camp was organized in good faith and with the interests of the players in mind,” he said.
“If the article has been read to suggest otherwise, The Age withdraws that suggestion.”
Last year, an independent investigation by SafeworkSA found no health and safety violations at the camp.
The Quill Award was given retrospectively to Herald Sun reporter Michael Warner for his story about the late AFL great Danny Frawley’s battle with CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), a disease linked to repeated blows to the head.