Former Sheffield United footballer Ched Evans has lost a second challenge against his conviction for rape.
The striker had his case rejected by three judges at the Court of Appeal in London.
Yesterday’s ruling was made by the Lord Chief Justice Lord Judge, sitting with Mr Justice Mitting and Mr Justice Griffith Williams.
The judges also threw out a bid by Evans to have his sentence reduced.
Lord Judge said: “We can see no possible basis which would justify us interfering with the verdict of the jury, which heard all the evidence and reflected on it after careful summing up by the judge.”
The hearing was the second time Evans had sought leave to appeal against conviction and sentence.
The 23-year-old was jailed for five years in April for raping a 19-year-old woman in a hotel room in North Wales in May last year. Evans denied the offence but was found guilty by a jury at Caernarfon Crown Court.
He admitted having sex with her, but the woman said she had no memory of the incident - and the prosecution said the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.
A spokesman for Evans’ law firm, Liverpool-based Brabners Chaffe Street, said: “Our client is extremely disappointed with the decision of the Court of Appeal.
“Our client continues to maintain his innocence and is currently being advised as to the other legal options available to him. He continues to have the full support of his family and friends.”
Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald, 23, who also admitted having sex with the victim, was found not guilty of the same charge.
Evans’ contract with Sheffield United expired in the summer. The club has refused to comment on the appeal.
The Court of Appeal ruling came the day after nine people - including three men from Sheffield - were convicted of revealing the identity of Evans’ victim on social network sites including Twitter and Facebook.
They were each ordered to pay the teenager £624 in compensation.