Five days into 'Deflate-Gate' and the NFL have today issued their first official statement on the controversy.
The statement, which can be read in full via this link, seeks to clarify the exact allegations levelled against the New England Patriots in the aftermath of their AFC Championship win over the Indianapolis Colts.
As well as confirming when and why the investigation began, the NFL lay out who is leading the inquest as well as what has been done so far to collect information - with no less than 40 interviews having taken place since Sunday evening.
The men in charge of getting to the bottom of deflate gate are NFL Executive Vice President Jeff Pash and Ted Wells, partner in the law firm Paul Weiss.
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"The investigation began promptly on Sunday night. Over the past several days, nearly 40 interviews have been conducted, including of Patriots personnel, game officials, and third parties with relevant information and expertise."
The NFL also confirmed that they were using all available avenues to look into the incident - including video footage with the help of a firm "with sophisticated forensic expertise."
Discovered so far
The main point of interest in the extensive statement comes when discussing what the league has discovered so far.
"The evidence thus far supports the conclusion that footballs that were under-inflated were used by the Patriots in the first half, the footballs were properly inflated for the second half and confirmed at the conclusion of the game to have remained properly inflated."
With many suggesting that the Colts were first alerted to potential foul play following a second quarter interception of Tom Brady the fact that the second half balls were suddenly "properly inflated" raises question marks.
Did the Patriots realise they had been rumbled and quickly move to 'normal' footballs, or is it all simply a coincidence and a lack of professionalism on the part of the equipment team?
Having initially laughed of the story as they attempted to focus on preparation for the upcoming Super Bowl, the New England Patriots have since accepted that the investigation is very real.
Head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady addressed the media yesterday, both denying any involvement or knowledge of the deflated balls prior to the original news story.
And the NFL in their statement have confirmed that the Patriots organization is cooperating fully with the investigation as it continues.
There is though no date mentioned as to when fans can expect a verdict on the accusations of cheating.
What do you think NFL fans? Are the Patriots guilty here, or is it all a big misunderstanding? Let us know in the comments section below...
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