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NFL Says Patriots Likely Used Deflated Balls in First Half of Colts Game

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The NFL released a statement on its investigation into Deflategate on Friday.

The league said it has conducted nearly 40 interviews so far, including of “Patriots personnel, game officials, and third parties with relevant information and expertise.” It also continues to obtain evidence in the form of video and other electronic information.

The NFL said the evidence “thus far supports the conclusion that footballs that were under-inflated were used by the Patriots in the first half.” The league confirmed that prior to the game, the balls were all tested and found to be of satisfactory inflation, and that the balls were all properly inflated for the second half and remained that way.

As it continues its investigation, the NFL retained the investigatory firm Renaissance Associates, who use sophisticated forensic expertise to “assist in reviewing electronic and video information.” From the NFL:

The goals of the investigation will be to determine the explanation for why footballs used in the game were not in compliance with the playing rules and specifically whether any noncompliance was the result of deliberate action. We have not made any judgments on these points and will not do so until we have concluded our investigation and considered all of the relevant evidence.

The league said the Patriots have pledged their “full cooperation” and have made both personnel and information available for the investigation.

On Thursday, New England quarterback Tom Brady said he “didn’t alter the balls in any way,” while coach Bill Belichick said he was shocked to hear about the controversy.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

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