Skip to main content

Australian rugby league star Todd Carney sacked over lewd urination photo

By CNN Staff
updated 3:46 AM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
Australian rugby league star Todd Carney has been sacked from his club over his latest indiscretion.
Australian rugby league star Todd Carney has been sacked from his club over his latest indiscretion.
  • Australian rugby league star Todd Carney has been sacked by his club over a lewd photo
  • The picture appeared to show the player urinating into his own mouth
  • Carney's agent says the picture was private and his client has been treated harshly
  • Carney has previously been sacked for alcohol-related misbehavior

(CNN) -- An Australian rugby league star has been sacked from his club in disgrace after a photograph circulated on social media that appeared to show him urinating into his own mouth.

The vulgar photograph of Todd Carney, taken at a nightclub urinal, created a storm on social media, prompting the Cronulla Sharks club to release a statement Sunday announcing it had ended the player's contract with immediate effect.

"When Todd was first signed to the Sharks he was made well aware of his responsibilities both on and off the field, to himself, the club and to the game in general," read the statement, issued by the club's CEO Steve Noyce.

"The photograph that appeared last night on social media does not meet the values and standards the club is looking to uphold and take into the future."

It was the third time that Carney -- who in 2010 received the prestigious Dally M Medal as the Australian National Rugby League's player of the year -- had left a club following off-field disciplinary issues. The picture surfaced just a day after the 28-year-old had led his side to a hard-fought comeback win against the Brisbane Broncos.

'Heavy price'

Carney's agent, David Riolo, appeared on Sydney radio station 2UE Monday saying his client had been dealt with unduly harshly by the club.

He said Carney had not actually drunk his urine and that the picture, while regrettable, had never been meant to go public.

"Todd's paid a very, very heavy price for a photo that he didn't want out there or upload himself. It was supposed to be kept between mates," Riolo told the station.

Carney had been contracted to Cronulla until the end of the 2018 season.

The photo had been leaked after the associate who took the picture claimed to have lost his phone, Riolo said.

Carney 's long list of previous indiscretions, mostly alcohol-related, features incriminating pictures of his genitals and alleged public urination.

In 2008, he was accused of urinating on a patron in a Canberra nightclub, and the following year he made headlines after a woman found full-frontal nude pics of the player on a mobile phone she was loaned.

While Carney has been widely criticized over his latest scandal, some present and former players have spoken out in support.

Joel Thompson, a player for the Dragons, tweeted that he felt for Carney. "It was his idea of a harmless joke between him & the so called mate in private. Toddy never hurt anyone," he wrote. "I think it's a bad joke horribly gone wrong."

Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:21 AM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
The first human trial of an experimental Ebola vaccine has produced promising results, U.S. scientists said.
updated 9:15 AM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot unarmed black teen in August abandoned home after address made public.
updated 5:36 PM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
HBO -- backing a documentary based on "Going Clear," a book about Scientology and Hollywood -- isn't taking any chances with legal side.
updated 2:35 PM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
Grandmaster Nguyen Van Chieu has devoted his adult life to spreading the word about Vietnames martial art, Vovinam.
updated 6:36 AM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
England cricketer Nick Compton shares insight into "drive and courage" it takes to face fears as top batsman.
updated 7:59 PM EST, Wed November 26, 2014
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson says he was just doing his "job right" when he shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown.
updated 8:18 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
updated 6:18 PM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says women's "nature is different," sparking fury.
updated 5:43 AM EST, Mon November 24, 2014
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
updated 8:21 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
updated 7:51 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
updated 10:50 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
updated 4:06 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
updated 6:19 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
updated 2:45 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
updated 12:03 PM EST, Thu November 27, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.