The ruling was made by arbitrator Harold Henderson, who was appointed by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to handle the case.
"I conclude that the player has not demonstrated that the process and procedures surrounding his discipline were not fair and consistent," Henderson ruled. "He was afforded all the protections and rights to which he is entitled, and I find no basis to vacate or reduce the discipline."
The NFLPA later released a statement responding to the decision:
The NFLPA expected this outcome, given the hearing officer's relationship and financial ties to the NFL. The decision itself ignores the facts, the evidence and the collective bargaining agreement. This decision also represents the NFL's repeated failure to adhere to due process and confirms its inconsistent treatment of players. Our union is considering immediate legal remedies.
Peterson's hearing ended on Dec. 4. According to the Associated Press, Peterson gave a statement without testifying and did not attend the conclusion of the hearing.
One key issue in the appeal was Peterson's conversations with NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent. The AP reports Peterson was told by Vincent that he would be credited with time served while on the Commissioner’s Exempt list and would be given a two-game ban if he showed up at a disciplinary hearing Nov. 14 with Goodell.
Peterson did not attend that meeting and Goodell suspended him without pay for the rest of the season days later for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. The 2012 NFL MVP won’t be considered for reinstatement before April 15.
Peterson had been placed on the exempt list after he was originally indicted on felony charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child in September. On Nov. 4, he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault after authorities said he hit his 4-year old son with a switch. He was ordered to pay a $4,000 fine and perform 80 hours of community service.