New England Patriots star Tom Brady has asked a judge to overturn his four-game NFL ban after losing his appeal.
He has promised to "fight" the NFL over a "manufactured" controversy and the NFL Players' Association wants a federal court to decide by 4 September.
The Patriots are alleged to have deflated balls to give themselves an advantage in an AFC Championship game.
An NFL investigation found Brady, 37, damaged the sport's "integrity" with his role in the 'deflate-gate' saga.
On Wednesday, lawyers for the NFLPA, on behalf of Brady, asked a judge to either rule on the case, or put an injunction on the ban so that Brady can practice before the season opener on 10 September.
The quarterback says neither he or the Patriots did anything wrong.
The Patriots beat the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 to win the AFC Championship and reach the Super Bowl.
But it was later found that many of the balls used in the game were underweight and had been deliberately let down to make them easier to throw and catch, suiting New England's game.
Brady was subsequently handed a four-match ban.
|What is deflate-gate?|
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The NFL upheld that punishment on Tuesday and claimed that Brady had ordered the destruction of his mobile phone during the investigation in a bid to cover up his actions.
But responding on his Facebook page on Wednesday, Brady refuted the charge and wrote: "To suggest that I destroyed a phone to avoid giving the NFL information it requested is completely wrong."
Considered one of the best quarterbacks ever, he added: "There is no 'smoking gun' and this controversy is manufactured to distract from the fact they have zero evidence of wrongdoing.
"I will not allow my unfair discipline to become a precedent for other NFL players without a fight."
The Patriots have also criticised the sanction, while the NFL Players' Association it called an "outrageous decision".