WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior House Democrat has found that National Football League officials improperly sought to influence a government study on the link between football and brain disease. The report by New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone says the league tried to strong-arm the National Institutes of Health into taking the project away from a researcher that the NFL feared was biased.

The NFL had agreed to donate $30 million to the NIH to fund brain research but backed out after the NIH refused to take a $16 million grant away from Boston University researcher Robert Stern, who is a leading expert on the link between football and brain diseases.