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Ray Rice wins appeal; NFL suspension lifted

Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is now eligible to return to the National Football League after winning an appeal of his indefinite suspension, the Associated Press reports.

Rice was suspended indefinitely from the NFL by Commissioner Roger Goodell in September after a video was made public showing the player punching his then-fiance, now wife in an elevator during a February altercation. The NFL Players Association said Friday that the suspension has been “vacated immediately;” meaning teams are allowed to sign Rice — whose contract was terminated by the Ravens after the video release — if they wish to pursue him.

The former NFL star was arrested soon after the original assault and avoided jail time by agreeing to participate in an anger management program. Rice was originally suspended for two games in the aftermath of the incident until Goodell modified the suspension upon release of the video. The appeal — heard by former U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones in early November — hinged on whether that action was an overstep in authority by the NFL.

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