Captain Steve Smith and vice-skipper David Warner have been banned for a year by Cricket Australia over their recent ball-tampering in South Africa.
Cameron Bancroft, who carried out the cheating, was given a nine-month ban.
The three had already been sent home from Australia’s tour – before a fourth Test begins on Friday – amid widespread condemnation stretching beyond sport.
Australia’s prime minister Malcolm Turnbull had said the affair “bitterly disappointed the whole nation”.
Smith, 28, and Bancroft, 25, have also been suspended from captaining Australia for at least the next two years.
Warner, 31, will not be considered for “any team leadership positions in the future”, Cricket Australia said.
The body also said Bancroft used sandpaper to damage the ball during their third Test with South Africa.
It found Smith and Bancroft had made “misleading public comments” when on Saturday they instead claimed it had been yellow tape.
Cricket Australia had already concluded that coach Darren Lehmann was not involved in the controversy and he will remain in his post.
The body’s chief executive James Sutherland said he was “satisfied that the sanctions… properly reflect a balance between the need to protect the integrity and reputation of the game and the need to maintain the possibility of redemption for the individuals involved”.
He added: “As indicated, Cricket Australia will provide more details of an independent review into the conduct and culture of our Australian men’s team in due course.”
Smith and Warner have also been banned from this season’s Indian Premier League.
Earlier on Wednesday, Warner stepped down as captain of Indian Premier League side Sunrisers Hyderabad. Smith stood down as captain of Rajasthan Royals on Monday.
IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla said: “The players that they [Cricket Australia] have banned, we are also barring those two players from this season.
“The franchises will get replacements for the players.”
How did we get here?
After Bancroft’s actions were exposed on Saturday, Smith admitted that the Aussie “leadership group” had devised a plan to tamper with the ball.
Images showed Bancroft take an item out of his trouser pocket before rubbing the ball with it.
After the game, Smith described the events as a “big mistake” but added he would not stand down as captain.
Following the conclusion of the third Test – South Africa won by 322 runs after an Australian batting collapse – the International Cricket Council (ICC) banned Smith for one match and fined him his entire match fee.
Bancroft was fined 75% of his match fee and given three demerit points, while Warner was not punished.
Having begun its own investigation after the match, Cricket Australia told reporters on Tuesday that it would look to sanction the players – in addition to the punishments by the ICC.
Australian cricket commentator Jim Maxwell told BBC Radio 5 live his understanding was that after lunch, Smith saw Bancroft and Warner in “collusion”.
Maxwell said Smith had said to the pair: “What are you blokes doing? I don’t want to know what you’re doing”, before then going out onto the field.
The charges in full:
Cricket Australia said Smith:
- knew of a potential plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball
- failed to take steps to seek to prevent the development and implementation of that plan
- directed that evidence of attempted tampering be concealed on the field of play
- sought to mislead match officials and others regarding Bancroft’s attempts to artificially alter the condition of the ball
- made misleading public comments regarding the nature, extent and participants of the plan
The body said Warner:
- developed a plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball
- instructed a junior player to carry out a plan to take steps to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper
- provided advice to a junior player regarding how a ball could be artificially altered including demonstrating how it could be done
- failed to take steps to seek to prevent the development and/or implementation of the plan
- failed to report his knowledge of the plan at any time prior to or during the match
- misled match officials through the concealment of his knowledge of and involvement in the plan
- failed to voluntarily report his knowledge of the plan after the match
It found Bancroft:
- knew of the existence of, and was being party to, the plan to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper
- carried out instructions to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball
- sought to conceal evidence of his attempts to artificially alter the condition of the ball
- sought to mislead match officials and others regarding his attempts to artificially alter the condition of the ball
- made misleading public comments regarding the nature, extent, implementation and participants of the plan
How big a loss are Smith and Warner?
Smith has been Australia’s dominant player in recent years. In his 64 Test matches, he has scored 6,199 runs and made 23 centuries.
Named Test captain in 2015, he scored 687 runs as he steered his side to the recent 4-0 Ashes victory over England on home soil, leading to him being compared to legendary batsman Sir Donald Bradman.
Warner has been a more controversial figure. He was suspended for the majority of the 2013 Champions Trophy after punching England batsman Joe Root in a bar in Birmingham.
The left-hander was nicknamed ‘The Bull’ when he began his career but his team-mates began calling him ‘The Reverend’ after he gave up alcohol.
He was named vice-captain when Smith took over from Michael Clarke, and led Australia in Smith’s absence in the recent Twenty20 tri-series against England and New Zealand.
Warner has a Test average of 48.20 after compiling 6,363 runs in 74 Tests.
He was fined after the first Test against South Africa for an altercation with Proteas wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.
What will they miss?
Australia’s schedule from the end of June has not been confirmed.
But all three players will miss the fourth Test against South Africa, which begins on Friday, and five ODIs and one Twenty20 on a mini tour of England this summer when the limited-overs series begins on 13 June.
Under the ICC’s Future Tours Programme, which sets out when countries play one another, Australia could play India, South Africa and Sri Lanka in the period between October 2018 and January 2019.