Sports

Warner apologizes via social media for ball-tampering role

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SYDNEY (AP) David Warner has issued an apology via social media after being banned for 12 months by Cricket Australia for is role in a ball-tampering plot during the third test against South Africa.

Warner, who has lost two sponsors already, says he is on way back to Australia from South Africa and ”you will hear from me in a few days.”

Steve Smith and Cameron Smith, who were banned for 12 months and nine months each, will arrive before Warner and face what are anticipated to be packed news conferences at Australian airports.

In a statement released via Twitter and Instagram, Warner says ”Mistakes have been made which have damaged cricket. I apologize for my part and take responsibility for it.”

He says he needs to take a ”deep breath” and spend time with his family and advisers, adding ”I understand the distress this has caused the sport and its fans.”

Smith and Warner were each banned for 12 months on Wednesday after an investigation into the attempted ball tampering last weekend. Cricket Australia said Warner ”instructed” Bancroft how to carry out the tampering with a piece of sandpaper.

Smith and Warner were banned from playing for Australia, or any high-level cricket in Australia, for a year. Theyve also been barred by Indian authorities from the lucrative IPL.

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Sporting goods company ASICS scrapped sponsorship deals Warner and Bancroft. Electronics company LG on Wednesday said it would not renew its soon-to-expire deal with Warner.

Cereal company Sanitarium on Thursday said it was ending its relationship with Smith.

Reports in the Australia media estimate the suspensions could cost Smith and Warner 5 million Australian dollars (US$3.8 million) each in lost earnings and endorsements.

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