A federal judge has canceled New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension in the “Deflategate” controversy.
Following the 40-page decision issued Thursday by US District Judge Richard Berman in New York, Brady will be eligible to play when the Patriots open the NFL season against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 10.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had suspended Brady, a perennial Pro Bowler, for the season’s first four games.
The judge ruled that Brady “had no notice that his discipline would be the equivalent of the discipline imposed upon a player who used performance-enhancing drugs.” Berman also said that the suspension was “premised upon several significant legal deficiencies.”
Robert Kraft, the Jewish owner of the Patriots, had slammed the penalty as “unfathomable.”
Brady is accused of participating in a scheme, which has come to be known as “Deflategate,” in which air was let out of footballs used in the January 2015 AFC Championship Game and of obstructing the NFL’s investigation, including by destroying his cellphone.
Kraft has said he will not speak publicly about the case pending the end of all legal proceedings.
He is the main benefactor of football in Israel, sponsoring the Kraft Family Israel Football League and funding the construction of the Kraft Family Stadium in Jerusalem. In June, he led a mission to Israel of 19 Pro Football Hall of Famers.
The National Football League can appeal the Brady decision.