Tom Brady : Patriots quarterback wins ruling against NFL in ‘Deflategate’ case

Tom Brady : Patriots quarterback wins ruling against NFL in "Deflategate" case

Tom Brady Appeal Ruling, Patriots QB’s Four-Game Suspension Nullified.

A federal judge let the air out of “Deflategate” Thursday, erasing New England quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for a controversy that the NFL claimed threatened football’s integrity.

US District Judge Richard Berman ruled the NFL overstepped the mark in punishing the Super Bowl-winning quarterback, who is one of the league’s biggest stars.

Thursday’s Manhattan court ruling means the 38-year-old New England Patriots player can prepare for the season-opening game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on 10 September.

However, the league can appeal the decision.

The controversy, dubbed Deflategate, centred on footballs used by the Patriots in their 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game last January.

An NFL-hired investigator determined that Brady was complicit in a plan to deflate the footballs below league standards, making them easier to grip in cold and wet conditions.

Upholding the suspension last month, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Brady had an assistant “destroy” his mobile phone on the day he was to be interviewed by investigators about the scandal.

Mr Goodell added that Brady not only “participated in a scheme to tamper with game balls”, but also “wilfully obstructed the investigation”.

Brady “engaged in conduct detrimental to the integrity of, and public confidence in, the game of professional football”, the commissioner wrote in his decision.

But in an August court filing, the players’ union said the four-game suspension displayed “a clearly biased agenda – not an effort at fairness and consistency”.

It also criticised Mr Goodell’s ruling upholding the suspension as a “smear campaign” and a “propaganda piece written for public consumption”.

The Patriots, who went on to win the Super Bowl after defeating the Colts, were fined $1m and docked two draft picks, including next year’s first-round selection.

The team declined to appeal against the punishment.

Brady, who is married to supermodel Gisele Bundchen, has denied any wrongdoing.