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Richard Sherman wins his suspension appeal

By Brady Henderson

The Seahawks keep winning.

Winners of four straight games, they scored another victory Thursday with the surprising news that star cornerback Richard Sherman has won his appeal of a four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

Sherman said he informed teammates Thursday morning after receiving a call from his lawyer telling Sherman he won his appeal.

Cornerback Richard Sherman, arguably the Seahawks’ best defender, will not be suspended after winning his appeal with the NFL. (AP)

“They were pretty excited, the coaches were excited,” Sherman told reporters. “It was just a sigh of relief for the whole team just to know that that was done and over with and we can move on from it.”

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the Associated Press in an email that the league is reviewing the decision but would not comment further due to confidentiality reasons. Albert Breer of the NFL Network and ESPN’s Adam Schefter confirmed that Sherman has indeed won his appeal.

Sherman’s victory means the Seahawks will have their starting cornerbacks available for the playoffs. Brandon Browner has served three games of his four-game suspension and is eligible to return after Sunday’s regular-season finale against St. Louis.

“Congrats to Richard Sherman for winning his appeal! Happy for him & it’ll be great to have him with us as we move forward,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll tweeted Thursday.

News broke following Seattle’s Week 12 loss to Miami that Sherman and Browner were facing four-game suspensions, reportedly having tested positive for Adderall.

Browner dropped his appeal while Sherman continued to fight the suspension, denying he took a banned substance and arguing that the urine sample he provided for testing was contaminated when the tester failed to follow proper procedure, leading to the positive test.

“It was a weird testing procedure,” Sherman said. “A lot of things went wrong on that day. That’s why the results came out the way it did because he [the tester] made mistakes and he did things wrong. If it wasn’t for that, there would have been no positive test.”

Sherman added: “Justice was finally served, and I appreciate the league for allowing the justice to be served and allowing me to continue to play.”

Sherman made his appeal last week, missing practice Thursday and Friday so he could attend the hearing. Days later, he had one of his finest games in Seattle’s Sunday night win over San Francisco, recording his team-high seventh interception and returning a blocked field goal 90 yards for a touchdown.

Sherman was named a Pro Bowl alternate Wednesday despite playing well enough to be a starter. His seven interceptions rank second in the NFL and he’s tied for the league lead in passes defensed with 23.

He said he isn’t sure whether his potential suspension influenced voters.