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Ball used during Patriots' Deflategate game sells for nearly $44,000 at auction

A memento of Deflategate infamy has a price, and it's nearly $44,000.

A ball used by the New England Patriots in last season's AFC Championship win over the Indianapolis Colts sold at auction for $43,740 on Saturday. The ball, which was sold by auction house Lelands.com, is the only known ball tied to the Deflategate game that is in the public domain, ESPN reported.

The ball was sold by Laura Anthony, who was handed the ball by Patriots wide receiver Brandon LaFell following a third-quarter touchdown by teammate LeGarrette Blount.

Still, it's not clear whether the ball was used by the Patriots in the first half of their blowout win. According to an NFL-commissioned investigation, officials reinflated each of the Patriots' balls at halftime after finding they were underinflated. Whether the ball sold at auction was ever used in an underinflated state is unknown.

In May, attorney Ted Wells concluded in his investigation it was "more probable than not" that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was "generally aware" of team attendants deflating footballs prior to the AFC Championship game on Jan. 18.

Brady was suspended for four games by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, but appealed the decision last month. Goodell has yet to announce a decision regarding the appeal.

In addition to Brady's suspension, the NFL fined the Patriots $1 million and took away a pair of future draft picks from the team.

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