Court victory for Peterson

However, the NFL have announced that they will appeal the ruling made by US district judge David Doty.

Peterson is one of the top running backs in the NFL and, in 2012 he rushed for 2,097 yards, finishing nine yards shy of breaking Eric Dickerson’s all-time record for running yardage in a single season.

However, he was suspended last September when he faced charges of causing reckless or negligent injury to a child.

And the 29-year-old was banned indefinitely, and at least through April 15, after pleading no contest last November to a misdemeanor charge for whipping his four-year-old son with a tree branch.

The NFL-appointed arbitrator Harold Henderson upheld the sanction in December, saying the ban was allowed under tougher sanctions for players involved in domestic violence imposed by the league in August.

But the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) appealed that ruling, saying the incident, which occurred last May, came before the new rules and that they could not be retrospectively applied.

And Doty said in his 16-page ruling that Henderson “simply disregarded the law of the shop and in doing so failed to meet his duty” under the collective bargaining agreement.

Doty also wrote: ???The NFL responds that Henderson, after a ‘careful review’ of the policy and new policy, correctly determined the commissioner had ‘broad discretion’ under the collective bargaining agreement to impose the enhanced discipline set forth in the new policy.

???The court disagrees.???

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said: ???This is a victory for the rule of law, due process and fairness.

“Our collective bargaining agreement has rules for implementation of the personal conduct policy and when those rules are violated, our union always stands up to protect our players’ rights.”

It is now possible that Peterson will be reinstated and allowed to resume his career but the NFL have appealed Doty???s ruling.

An NFL statement read: ???Judge Doty???s order did not contain any determinations concerning the fairness of the appeals process under the CBA, including the commissioner???s longstanding authority to appoint a designee to act as hearing officer.

???Even so, we believe strongly that Judge Doty???s order is incorrect and fundamentally at odds with well-established legal precedent governing the district court???s role in reviewing arbitration decisions.

???As a result, we have filed a notice of appeal to have the ruling reviewed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

???In the interim, Adrian Peterson will be returned to the Commissioner Exempt List pending further proceedings by appeals officer Harold Henderson or a determination by the Eighth Circuit Court.???