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Richard Sherman of Seattle Seahawks wins PED appeal

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman always was confident he'd win an appeal of his four-game suspension for use of performance-enhancing substances.

That confidence was justified. Sherman told NFL.com's Steve Wyche on Thursday that he is free to play and will not be suspended. The NFL released a statement declining comment due to the confidentiality provision of the process.

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Sherman broke the news himself on Twitter. "Thank you @nfl for upholding the truth! To the 12s Thank you your faith is rewarded! Thank you lord," Sherman wrote.

The NFL hit Sherman and fellow Seahawks cornerback Brandon Browner with four-game suspensions for PED use last month. Both appealed the punishment, though Browner changed his mind and began to serve his ban in Week 14. Browner's suspension concludes after Sunday's regular-season finale against the St. Louis Rams.

NFL.com's Albert Breer reported Sherman won his case because of a major problem with the collection procedure. Sherman said earlier this week that he'd likely sue the NFL if his appeal didn't throw out the suspension.

"There was always people that said the chances are slim to none, (but) I told them my chances have always been slim to none, and I've always found a way to win those," Sherman later said, via Curtis Crabtree of KJR-AM, The Associated Press and ProFootballTalk.com. "You don't make it this far without getting through some kind of adversity," Sherman added.

Sherman also addressed his frustration with the news coming out before the appeal process, saying, "Oh, that's going to be dealt with also."

Sherman was snubbed in Pro Bowl balloting, but there's no arguing how important he is to Seattle's defensive scheme. He proved that during Sunday's blowout win over the San Francisco 49ers, in which he had an interception, four passes defensed and a 90-yard touchdown return off a field-goal block.

Seattle now is set up for a postseason run in which both Sherman and Browner will be in the secondary. The Seahawks are on a winning streak in more ways than one.

UPDATE: The Associated Press obtained a copy of former NFL executive Bob Wallace's ruling, which explained the tester's handling of Sherman's leaky sample cup was "a big deal" not noted in the original report. The tester later admitted the sample cup had leaked and its contents transferred to another cup, but Wallace noted "insuring a sample is collected properly is the cornerstone of the program" and voided Sherman's suspension.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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