Antonio Brown banned eight games for conduct violations: NFL

New York (AFP) –


Former Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots star Antonio Brown has been suspended for eight games following breaches of the NFL's personal conduct policy, the league said Friday.

In a statement, the NFL said Brown, an unrestricted free agent, remained eligible to sign with a team but would be suspended without pay for eight regular-season games starting from September 5 if he did.

The NFL said Brown had been suspended for "multiple violations" of the NFL's code of conduct.

Brown was investigated by the NFL for a series of off-field allegations, including two separate claims of sexual misconduct. The talented 32-year-old wide receiver has strongly denied allegations of wrongdoing.

Brown was jettisoned by the Patriots following just one game last season after it emerged he had sent intimidating text messages to a woman who accused him of sexual harassment.

Brown was also accused of sexual assault and rape by another woman in a separate case, a claim he has denied.

The receiver joined the Patriots after a tumultuous stint with the Oakland Raiders in which he left without playing a game.

He has repeatedly described himself as "retired" from the sport, but remains on the radar of several teams.

The NFL said Brown would be required to continue a program of counseling and treatment as part of his sanction, and that he is expected to cooperate with his clinicians.

Any future violation of the personal conduct policy will likely result in a heavier punishment, the league said.