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Elliott's NFL suspension upheld - reports

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Los Angeles (AFP)

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was ordered to serve the entirety of his six-game suspension for domestic violence on Tuesday after an independent arbitrator rejected his appeal, the NFL reported on its website.

Elliott is at the centre of an acrimonious battle with the NFL over his ban, with the players union last week petitioning a federal court to fight the running back's case.

It came after an appeal hearing against the August 11 sanction issued by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell following a probe which alleged the player assaulted former girlfriend Tiffany Thompson in 2016.

Last week's appeal hearing revealed that the NFL's lead investigator in the case had written a memo raising questions about Thompson's credibility and recommended no sanction be issued against Elliott.

US media reported on Tuesday that arbitrator Harold Henderson, who heard the appeal, had sided with the league, which had found Elliott in breach of the NFL's personal conduct policy.

Due to the timing of the case, Elliott will be free to play in Sunday's season-opener against the Cowboys' NFC East rivals the New York Giants.

The court petition filed by the NFL Players Association last week will be decided upon later this week.

If the judge in the case rules the suspension should be postponed, Elliott will be free to play until the case is revolved.

Elliott, 22, was never charged by police over the case and denies wrongdoing.

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