NEW YORK (AFP) - National Football League (NFL) commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday ruled out any chance of trying to broker a settlement with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady over the Deflategate saga.
In comments to reporters at a charity golf event in New York, he said the courts would be left to settle the case after Brady opted to challenge the verdict of an appeal which ruled in favour of the NFL.
Goodell suggested that the window of opportunity for Brady to reach a settlement had now closed.
"We've had all those discussions," Goodell was quoted as saying by ESPN. "We've had settlement discussions over the past year.
"At this stage right now, we're moving forward. The courts will make their decisions and we'll move forward on that basis."
He also defended his right to retain the power, as commissioner, to impose discipline on players and safeguard the integrity of the sport.
"That's the responsibility of the commissioner, and we're not gonna hand that integrity of the game off to somebody that doesn't have any involvement in the game," Goodell said.
Brady, one of the highest-profile athletes in the United States, 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 last year.
A court ruled in his favour last year and quashed a four-game NFL suspension, leaving Brady free to play the season.
However the NFL challenged the court ruling and in April, an appeals court ruled in the league's favour, effectively reinstating Brady's initial punishment.
Brady has filed for a further appeals hearing following the court decision.
If his suspension is upheld, he will miss the first four games of New England's 2016 campaign against the Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans and Buffalo Bills.