Sydney - Rugby
league standout Ben Barba, who has had stints in France and England,
was kicked out of the sport in Australia on Tuesday over allegations of
The Dally M medallist, who was previously embroiled in a cocaine
scandal, had already been sacked by his club North Queensland Cowboys
and has now been deregistered by the National Rugby League.
The decision followed the NRL's integrity unit viewing CCTV footage
of a physical altercation between Barba and his partner Ainslie Currie
at a casino in the Cowboys' home city of Townsville.
Australian media published photos of Currie with cuts and bruises to her face.
"I'm not going to call for (a worldwide ban) but there's no place for
him (in Australia). It's time for Ben Barba to find a new vocation,"
NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg told reporters.
"Where we see violence against women we'll act in the strongest terms," he added.
"We're going to get tougher and stronger on players that do the wrong
thing because we cannot afford the damage it does to our game."
Barba's career first spiralled out of control when he tested positive
for cocaine in 2015. He did so again a year later and was booted from
his former club Cronulla Sharks.
He was taken on by French Top 14 rugby union club Toulon but was soon
axed before moving to St Helens in the English Super League, where he
rebuilt his career and won the Man of Steel award.
The scandal is another blow for rugby league, which has spent years
trying to change its reputation for bad behaviour after a series of
Last year, high-profile star Jarryd Hayne and St George Illawarra's Jack de Belin were charged with sexual assault.
Two Canterbury Bulldogs players were also charged with obscene
exposure after being pictured vomiting and stripping naked at a pub.