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'Bounty Gate' player suspensions overturned

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Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue has overturned the suspensions of four New Orleans Saints players accused of being paid to hurt opposing players.

Tagliague, who was appointed by current commissioner Roger Goodell to handle player appeals in the case, blames the Saints organization instead, saying the case has been “contaminated” by the team’s coaches.

The “BountyGate” scandal included the Saints’ 2009 NFC title game against the Minnesota Vikings.

The attorney for Jonathan Vilma, one of the Saints players implicated in the scandal, accused Goodell of manufacturing the allegations.

Despite his suspension being lifted, Vilma continues to pursue a defamation case against Goodell, as he alleges his reputation has been tarnished.

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Appeals panel overturns player suspensions in Saints bounty scandal

A three-member appeals panel overturned player suspensions for the “Bounty 4," Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, free agent Anthony Hargrove, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita and Saints defensive end Will Smith. The suspensions are immediately void and the case is being sent back to the NFL where Commissioner Roger Goodell can reconsider discipline.