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Ex-NRL player rubbed out for racial abuse

Press Association logoPress Association 2/05/2017 Ian Laybourn

Salford winger Justin Carney has been banned for eight matches for racially abusing an opponent. © AAP Image/Renee McKay Salford winger Justin Carney has been banned for eight matches for racially abusing an opponent. Former Raiders and Roosters player Justin Carney has been banned for eight Super League matches for racially abusing an opponent.

The Salford winger was sent off by referee Jack Smith 26 minutes into the Red Devils' 29-22 win over Toronto Wolfpack in the fifth round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup last month following comments directed at former Leeds prop forward Ryan Bailey.

The 28-year-old was subsequently charged with verbal abuse based on race or colour by the Rugby Football League's match review panel, a grade F offence which normally carries a ban of eight matches or more.

Carney pleaded guilty to the offence when he appeared in front of an independent disciplinary panel in Leeds on Tuesday evening but contested the severity of the charge.

The panel, chaired by Rodney Grant, with former players Graeme Hallas (Leeds) and Neil Turley (Leigh) sitting as side members, upheld the charge and, after a hearing lasting around three hours, imposed an eight-match ban and a PS300 ($515) fine.

Carney, who did not have the option of submitting an early guilty plea, was accompanied to the hearing by a QC who presented his case for a reduction in the severity of the charge.

Salford announced on Tuesday night that they intend to carry out their own internal investigation, pending any appeal, and, in a statement, say Carney insists he is not a racist.

"Justin has today pleaded guilty to a charge of misconduct being that, in the game against Toronto Wolfpack on 23 April he used verbal abuse to an opposition player based on race/colour, although he did contest the severity of the charge," a spokesman said.

"Whilst Justin has admitted using the offending words in an abusive manner, he did not intend his words to be taken in a 'racial' context. Justin is an indigenous Australian and is proud of his Aboriginal heritage. He stands firm on the position that he is not nor has he ever been a racist."

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