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A federal appeals court has upheld a ruling saying that three former University of Oregon basketball players were not discriminated against after the institution expelled them over rape accusations.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unanimously upheld a lower court's ruling dismissing a lawsuit by Dominic Artis, Damyean Dotson and Brandon Austin. The trio sued in 2015 after the university kicked them out after a female student accused them of raping her at a party in 2014. They said they suffered from gender discrimination.

No criminal charges were filed in the case.

Spokeswoman Molly Blancett provided this statement on behalf of the university:

"The university respects the decision of the court. We are grateful to the court for acknowledging the hard work of the student conduct team and their handling of this very difficult matter. Specifically, the court credited the 'university’s focus on encouraging students’ personal integrity and cooperative (rather than coercive) interpersonal behavior, interest in providing an environment free of sexual misconduct, and setting up a disciplinary system that provides students an opportunity to be heard.'"