A US judge's decision to strike down New England Patriots Tom Brady's four-game "Deflate-gate" suspension means the superstar quarterback can play in the National Football League's season opener next Thursday.
The ruling by US District Judge Richard Berman not only paves the way for Brady to take the field against the Pittsburgh Steelers but it is also a public relations embarrassment for commissioner Roger Goodell and calls into question his role as the league's ultimate authority.
"Brady's four-game suspension is vacated, effective immediately," Berman ruled after failing in his effort to induce the warring sides to reach a settlement.
The decision however is not a definitive end to a saga that has shadowed the NFL since January, when accusations surfaced that the Patriots used balls inflated below the league minimum in the first half of the American Conference championship victory over Indianapolis.
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