Brady ‘Deflategate’ ban upheld

Brady was handed the ban for his role in a scheme to deflate the footballs in the AFC championship game that put the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

Brady, one of the NFL’s most popular players, may yet decide to take the case to federal court in a bid to overturn the suspension, which would see him miss matches against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars and Dallas Cowboys this coming season.

Deflated balls are considered to be easier to grip, throw and catch, particularly in cold conditions, although it is unclear exactly how much of an advantage or disadvantage they provide.

As well as Brady’s ban, the Patriots were handed a $1m fine and docked two draft picks, including next year’s first-round pick.

“NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld today the four-game suspension imposed on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on May 11,” read the final appeal ruling issued by the NFL.

“Brady’s appeal ???from that discipline was heard for more than 10 hours on June 23.

“In the opinion informing Brady that his appeal had been denied, Commissioner Goodell emphasized important new information disclosed by Brady and his representatives in connection with the hearing.

“On or shortly before March 6, the day that Tom Brady met with independent investigator Ted Wells and his colleagues, Brady directed that the cell phone he had used for the prior four months be destroyed.

“He did so even though he was aware that the investigators had requested access to text messages and other electronic information that had been stored on that phone.

“During the four months that the cell phone was in use, Brady had exchanged nearly 10,000 text messages, none of which can now be retrieved from that device.

“The destruction of the cell phone was not disclosed until June 18, almost four months after the investigators had first sought electronic information from Brady.

“Based on the Wells Report and the evidence presented at the hearing, Commissioner Goodell concluded in his decision that Brady was aware of, and took steps to support???, the actions of other team employees to deflate game footballs below the levels called for by the NFL’s Official Playing Rules.

“The commissioner found that Brady’s deliberate destruction of potentially relevant evidence went beyond a mere failure to cooperate in the investigation and supported a finding that he had sought to hide evidence of his own participation in the underlying scheme to alter the footballs.”