SEATTLE (AP) The co-chairman of the NFL's head, neck and spine committee has sent a letter to Congress stressing that he was not contacted during a government study on the link between football and brain disease.

That study concluded that NFL officials improperly sought to influence the findings.

Dr. Richard Ellenbogen wrote to New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone to note that claims he and others tried to influence a National Institutes of Health grant selection are inaccurate. Ellenbogen called not being interviewed a ''basic lack of fairness'' and a ''maligning without so much as the courtesy of a direct question to me by your staff.''

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Pallone said the league tried to strong-arm the NIH into taking the project away from a researcher who the NFL feared was biased.

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