Dallas Cowboys running back and former Ohio State University football player Ezekiel Elliott has been suspended for six games after a yearlong NFL investigation of his domestic violence case in Ohio.
The 2016 NFL rushing leader was suspended despite prosecutors in Columbus, Ohio, deciding more than a year ago not to pursue the case involving Elliott's girlfriend at the time in the same city where Elliott starred for Ohio State.
The league said Friday that investigators interviewed more than a dozen witnesses, consulted with medical experts, and examined photo and digital evidence. They concluded there was "substantial and persuasive evidence" that Elliott "engaged in physical violence" last summer with his ex-girlfriend, Tiffany Thompson on multiple occasions.
A police report said Thompson claimed Elliott assaulted her as she sat behind the wheel of a parked vehicle.
The league revised its personal conduct policy in 2014 following sharp criticism of a case involving former Baltimore running back Ray Rice. The policy gave Commissioner Roger Goodell authority to suspend players for at least six games in domestic cases, with or without a conviction.
According to the league, Elliott may appeal the decision within three days. If not, he will be suspended beginning September 2.