NEW YORK: Tom Brady is poised to start the 2016 NFL season serving a four-game ban after a US appeals court denied the New England quarterback’s bid to have his “Deflategate” case reheard.
The second US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York issued a terse ruling saying only that it had denied a petition filed by Brady and the NFL Players Association.
Brady and the players’ union had asked for the full appeals court panel of judges to hear the case.
“We are disappointed with the decision denying a rehearing, as there were clear violations of our collective bargaining agreement by the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell,” the NFLPA said in statement.
“Despite today’s result, the track record of this League office when it comes to matters of player discipline is bad for our business and bad for our game,” it added. “We have a broken system that must be fixed. We will review all of our options carefully on behalf of Tom Brady and all NFL players.”
One of the highest-profile athletes in the United States, Brady has been battling the NFL ever since the league accused him of involvement in a plot to cheat by tampering with the air pressure of balls used in the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts in 2015.
The NFL-commissioned investigation into the affair was conducted by attorney Ted Wells, who concluded it was “more probable than not” that Brady was “generally aware” of Patriots attendants deflating footballs prior to the game.
A court ruled in his favor last year, quashing a four-game suspension meted out by Goodell, leaving Brady free to play the season.
However, on April 25, the three-judge appeals court panel ruled 2-1 that Goodell was within his powers when he suspended Brady.
Brady’s last avenue of appeal is the US Supreme Court.
His suspension is now set to see him miss the first four games of New England’s 2016 campaign against the Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans and Buffalo Bills.