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Ray Rice appeal hearing wraps up

Former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice faces a nervous wait to learn if his appeal against suspension for domestic violence has been successful after a two-day closed doors hearing wrapped up on Thursday.

New York: Former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice faces a nervous wait to learn if his appeal against suspension for domestic violence has been successful after a two-day closed doors hearing wrapped up on Thursday.

Rice, kicked out of the NFL indefinitely in September after the emergence of video showing him punching his wife Janay unconscious, is challenging a ruling by league commissioner Roger Goodell.

Rice, his wife Janay, and Goodell are all understood to have testified during the hearing held before former federal judge Barbara Jones.

It is not known when Jones is expected to issue her ruling in the case.

The NFL Players` Association issued a statement on Thursday afternoon, praising Jones for her handling of the hearing.

"The NFLPA thanks judge Barbara Jones for presiding over a fair and thorough hearing," the statement said. "This is the first time in the history of our League that a disciplinary hearing has been conducted pursuant to a joint agreement on a neutral arbitrator.

"We commend NFL owners and officials for the wisdom of this decision which enhances the credibility and integrity of our business.

"The collectively bargained rights of all players must be vehemently preserved and we take that obligation seriously.

"This appeal, presided over by a neutral arbitrator, which included a presentation of all the relevant facts, witness testimony to the truth and cross examination, is the due process that every athlete deserves."

Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, team president Dick Cass and league security chief Jeff Miller were also believed to have testified during the hearing.

Jones` gag order prevents anyone from speaking publicly about the hearing.

Goodell slapped Rice with an indefinite suspension after the release of video showing Rice punching his then fiancee Janay in a casino elevator.

Goodell faced a firestorm of criticism for his initial handling of the case, when Rice was given only a two-game ban before the footage emerged.

Rice has also filed a grievance against the Ravens for terminating his contract.

From Zee News

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