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Atlanta Falcons lose a draft pick for pumping fake crowd noise into stadium

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Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws with good protection against the Detroit Lions early in the first quarter during their NFL football game at Wembley. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws with good protection against the Detroit Lions early in the first quarter during their NFL football game at Wembley. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

REUTERS

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) throws with good protection against the Detroit Lions early in the first quarter during their NFL football game at Wembley. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

The Atlanta Falcons have been docked one of their 2016 draft picks for piping fake crowd noise into the Georgia Dome.

The NFL found the franchise director of event marketing, Roddy White, responsible for the breach of league rules and also fined the team 350,000 US dollars (£235,000).

Their president Rich McKay was also punished, with a three-month ban from team activities. McKay was ruled to be unaware of the breach but was punished as "the senior club executive overseeing game operations", according to a statement from the NFL.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank announced the team will not appeal against the decision.

Blank said in a statement: "What took place was wrong and nowhere near the standards by which we run our business. Any time there are actions that compromise the integrity of the NFL or threaten the culture of our franchise, as this issue did, they will be dealt with swiftly and strongly."

The broadcasting of fake crowd noise can give teams a competitive advantage in games, with a louder atmosphere making it difficult for visiting teams to communicate their snap count.

Atlanta will still hold eight picks in this year's draft, which takes place from April 30.

Online Editors