Rugby Australia terminates Folau's contract

Australian rugby union player Israel Folau leaves a Code of Conduct hearing in Sydney, Sunday, May 5, 2019. The 30-year-old Folau appeared before the

Australian rugby union player Israel Folau leaves a Code of Conduct hearing in Sydney, Sunday, May 5, 2019. The 30-year-old Folau appeared before the

Australian rugby union player Israel Folau arrives for a Code of Conduct hearing in Sydney, May 4, 2019. The 30-year-old Folau will appear before the

Australian rugby union player Israel Folau arrives for a Code of Conduct hearing in Sydney, May 4, 2019. The 30-year-old Folau will appear before the

SYDNEY (AP) — Rugby Australia has terminated star fullback Israel Folau's contract after he was found guilty of a high-level breach of the players' code of conduct for a social media post that condemned gay people and other "sinners" to eternal damnation.

The 30-year-old Folau was found guilty on May 7 after a hearing following the online posts in mid-April.

Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle told a news conference Friday that the sport's national governing body had accepted the sanction of the code of conduct panel, adding that Folau had left them with no choice but to terminate his four-year contract.

Folau is expected to appeal the decision in an Australian court.

His dismissal throws Australia's preparations into turmoil for the Rugby World Cup, which kicks off in September in Japan.

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