ORIGINAL SOURCE:Sydney Morning Herald
Todd Carney did not, in fact, drink his own urine, his agent has been at pains to clarify this morning.
“It’s a setup, like when people stand in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa,” David Riolo told Fairfax Media's radio station 2UE this morning.
Riolo said that Carney had never intended for the picture to be made public.
“Todd’s paid a very, very heavy price for a photo that he didn’t want out there or upload himself. It was supposed to be kept between mates,'' Riolo said.
His attempt to counter an explosion of bad press came as Cronulla Sharks players left a two-hour crisis meeting at Remondis Stadium, their first since Carney was sacked after the emergence of a picture of the player engaging in the lewd act in a nightclub toilet.
The team's planned 9am training session was cancelled because an official declared players were “not in the right head space”.
The Sharks have cancelled their scheduled field session because players not in right head space to train— Michael Carayannis (@MCarayannis) June 30, 2014
Riolo confirmed that his client was feeling betrayed after being dismissed by the Sharks on Sunday.
When asked to confirm that it was one of Carney’s ''friends'' who released the photo, Riolo replied: “I use that word loosely.
“The person who took the photo contacted me this morning by text and said ‘My phone got lost’ – supposedly – and that’s how the photo got out. It was meant to be a joke.”
@theleadernews time for media to stop wasting airtime on him. Many other worthy causes would love the media attention that he is getting.— Adla Coure (@acoure) June 29, 2014
Riolo said the incident should not have been a sacking offence and said that the club’s managers had acted too quickly.
“He’s now got a photo of himself gone worldwide in not a very pleasant setting that’s going to be on the net for his family and everyone to see for future generations. That in itself is a very big price to pay.”
Did the Sharks do the right thing in sacking Carney?
A meeting with Atherton Roosters president Mick Nasser after last Friday night’s match in Brisbane should have reminded Todd Carney of what it was like to lose his livelihood as an NRL player.
Nasser, who employed Carney at his North Queensland pub in 2009 after he was sacked by Canberra, has been one of the former NSW five-eighth’s biggest supporters and travelled to Brisbane to watch him help the Sharks to a 24-22 comeback win over the Broncos.
But just 24 hours later, it became apparent Carney had learned little from his past mistakes when a photo taken of him urinating towards his own mouth during a drinking session at Northies night club in Cronulla began circulating on social media.
After being sacked by Sydney Roosters when the club’s chairman Nick Politis could no longer stand by him - following two years of unwavering support, it now appears to be a case of three strikes and you’re out for Carney in the NRL.
Throughout his career, officials, coaches and teammates at the Raiders, Roosters and Sharks have stood by the talented playmaker and each time he has let them down.
No other club is again likely to do so after a string of misdemeanours that include drink driving and driving while disqualified after a police chase in Canberra, allegedly urinating on the head and neck of another patron at an ACT bar, damaging a vehicle he jumped on in Goulburn, another drink driving charge at the Roosters and breaching a player-enforced alcohol ban that led to his sacking from the club.
As a result, Carney has been banned from his home town of Goulburn for a year, warned by a judge that he would go to jail if he was convicted by another court, sacked from the Raiders and Roosters, deregistered by the NRL and banned from playing Super League in England because of his criminal offences.
Cronulla represented his last-chance saloon and while the Sharks haven’t made public any other breaches since he joined the club in 2012, there were widespread rumours that Carney had been off the rails this year and it was considered only a matter of time before he again found himself in the headlines for the wrong reasons.