NFL physician says House investigation has 'basic lack of fairness'

The co-chairman of the NFL's head, neck and spine committee wrote a letter to Congress Tuesday in an effort to clear his name after a House report accused him and the NFL of attempting to influence the grant selection process for head injury research, USA Today reported.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," Richard Ellenbogen, MD, wrote in an open letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Ranking Member Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.). In his letter, Dr. Ellenbogen claims staff members involved in the investigation never questioned him, despite that he provided contact information and was willing to engage with them, according to the report.

"I find this basic lack of fairness, combined with the disregard for the opinions and reputations of the medical professionals named in this report, to be unworthy of the important committee that you lead," Dr. Ellenbogen wrote, according to the report. He is a pediatric neurosurgeon, and professor and chairman of the department of neurological surgery at UW Medicine in Seattle.

In the letter, he said he wished to clarify he is not and never has been paid by the NFL, nor has he received funding from the research grants mentioned in the House report. "I am a physician on the front lines of this issue, treating kids and counseling parents every day on understanding concussions and repetitive head injury," Dr. Ellenbogen wrote, according to the report.


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