Israel Folau loses Asics sponsorship deal after breaching code of conduct

Israel Folau in action for Australia against Wales
Israel Folau has won 73 caps for Australia

Israel Folau has lost his sponsorship deal with sportswear brand Asics.

Folau was found guilty of breaching Rugby Australia's (RA) player code of conduct after he said "hell awaits" gay people in a social media post.

The Waratahs full-back, 30, had his four-year RA contract terminated in April but requested a hearing.

"We champion inclusivity and diversity," said a statement from Asics, which is also a leading Wallabies sponsor.

"While Israel Folau is entitled to his personal views, some of those expressed in recent social media posts are not aligned with those of Asics.

"As such, our partnership with Israel has become untenable and he will no longer represent Asics as a brand ambassador."

Asics is the second sponsor to have cut ties with Folau after Land Rover withdrew a car issued to him.

The three-person panel which presided over Folau's hearing will now take written submissions from the player and RA before deciding what sanction he will face.

He escaped punishment for similar comments last year.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has said Folau is unlikely to be selected for Australia again.

In addition to his rugby union career, Folau has also played professional rugby league and Australian rules football.

In April, Australian rugby league's governing body ruled out Folau returning to the NRL.

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