The NFL is denying accusations that it covered up retractions made by key witnesses in its bounty investigation, or that Commissioner Roger Goodell has placed gag orders on Saints employees and others who could help punished players clear their names.
Lawyer Peter Ginsberg, who represents suspended Saints player Jonathan Vilma, made the accusations when punished players appeared earlier this week for an appeal hearing, a full transcript of which has been obtained by The Associated Press.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello says claims of a gag order are "completely untrue,'' and that players could have presented any witness willing to attend the hearing.
The hearing transcript also shows that the NFL Players Association formally asked Goodell to recuse himself from ongoing appeal proceedings, saying he is incapable of being unbiased.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)