Carney sacked by Cronulla over lewd photo posted on Twitter

File picture for illustration shows a player passing the ball during a rugby league match in Sydney on October 26, 2008 (AFP Photo/Greg Wood)

Troubled National Rugby League star Todd Carney was sacked by his Cronulla club Sunday after a lewd photo of him was circulated on social media. Carney, 28, was photographed in the bathroom of a nightclub engaging in a vulgar act while standing at a urinal in the latest scandal in his stormy career. His latest behaviour prompted the Cronulla Sharks to release a statement late Sunday saying they had ended the playing contract of Carney, who was tied to the club until the end of the 2018 season. "The Cronulla Sharks Football Club has today after careful consideration and lengthy deliberation, including discussions with senior NRL management, made a decision to terminate Todd Carney's NRL playing contract effective immediately," said the club's chief executive Steve Noyce in a statement. "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, however the photograph that appeared last night (Saturday) on social media does not meet the values and standards the club is looking to uphold and take into the future." Cronulla said it will work with Carney, his family and his management in implementing appropriate counselling and support, with the start of the process to begin immediately. It is the latest incident in Carney's tumultuous playing career, which has been marred by alcohol-related issues. The former New South Wales representative, who was named NRL player of the year in 2010, was banned from playing in the NRL in 2009 due to repeated drunken incidents when he was playing with the Canberra Raiders. Carney joined Cronulla in 2012 after being sacked by the Sydney Roosters for breaking a club-issued alcohol ban in 2011. The NRL said it supported the Cronulla club's decision to terminate Carney's contract. Chief Operating Officer Jim Doyle said the photo posted on social media was unacceptable and tarnished the image of the game. "The overwhelming majority of NRL players are great role models who do such good work on and off the field," he said. "But those who want to bring the game into disrepute are on notice that their behaviour will not be tolerated and the Sharks should be commended for taking such a strong stand in this instance."