SHOWS: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (MAY 17, 2019) (AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION - Broadcasters: NO USE AUSTRALIA Digital: NO USE AUSTRALIA .COM.AU INTERNET SITES / ANY INTERNET SITE OF ANY AUSTRALIAN BASED MEDIA ORGANISATIONS OR MOBILE PLATFORMS / AUSTRALIAN NVO CLIENTS / SMH.COM.AU / NEWS.COM.AU) 1.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) RUGBY AUSTRALIA CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, RAELENE CASTLE, SAYING: "We are here to announce that Wallabies and Waratahs player Israel Folau has today been issued a sanction directing termination of his playing contract for his high level breach of the professional players code of conduct.
The three member panel of John West, QC, Chair, Kate Eastman, SC, and John Boultbee, AM, provided its final written decision today relating to the code of conduct hearing over Folau's social media post on April 10, 2019.
While Rugby Australia accepts the panel's decision directing termination of Israel Folau's playing contract for his high level breach of the code of conduct, we want to stress that this outcome is a painful situation for the game.
Rugby Australia did not choose to be in the situation, but Rugby Australia's position remains that Israel, through his actions, left us with no choice but to pursue the course of action resulting in today's outcome." SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (MAY 7, 2019) (AUSTRALIAN POOL - Broadcasters: NO USE AUSTRALIA / NEW ZEALAND / PAPUA NEW GUINEA Digital: NO USE AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, PAPUA NEW GUINEA-BASED INTERNET SITES, MOBILE PLATFORMS OR SITES OF MEDIA ORGANISATIONS BASED IN THOSE COUNTRIES, NVO CLIENTS/ SMH.COM.AU/ NEWS.COM.AU) 2.
VEHICLE CARRYING RUGBY UNION PLAYER ISRAEL FOLAU STOPPED ON ROAD 3.
VEHICLE DRIVING AWAY STORY: Rugby Australia terminated fullback Israel Folau's contract on Friday (May 17) for committing a high level breach of the players' code of conduct by sharing a social media post.
The protracted saga was triggered by Folau's Instagram post on April 10 that said hell awaited "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers" and others the fundamentalist Christian considered sinners.
The 30-year-old player, who has already lost one sponsorship deal over the issue, has 72 hours to appeal the ruling.
Folau shared a similar post last year but escaped sanction and signed a new four-year contract, reported to be worth A$4 million ($2.77 million), in February.
The decision leaves Australia coach Michael Cheika without one of his few world class players only a few months out from the World Cup in Japan.
The saga over his sacking has triggered a wider debate in Australia about freedom of speech and the power of employers to control their employees away from the workplace.
(Production: James Redmayne/Mike Brock)