Steven Smith and David Warner have been banned for 12 months by Cricket Australia, while Cameron Bancroft has been suspended for nine months.
Cricket Australia (CA) have confirmed that former Steve Smith and David Warner, have been banned from all international and domestic cricket for a period of 12 months for breaching their Code of Conduct after the ball-tampering controversy in South Africa.
Meanwhile, Cameron Bancroft, the player who actually tampered with the ball during the third day of the Cape Town Test, has been banned for nine months. Rumours of the trio's bans had surfaced earlier on Wednesday and CA have now released official confirmation.
It has also emerged that opener and former vice-captain Warner was the man chiefly involved "in the development of the plan", and thus will no longer be considered for a senior leadership role in future by CA.
Following the announcement made on Tuesday in Johannesburg which confirmed the trio would fly home from the tour of South Africa, the CA Board met again on Wednesday to consider the report of the investigation.
The three players in question have all been charged with a breach of Article 2.3.5 of the CA Code of Conduct, namely that their conduct was contrary to the spirit of the game and brought cricket into disrepute.
CA say that Steve Smith had “knowledge of the potential plan” and failed to “take steps to seek to prevent the development and implementation".
The report established that Warner, however, led the initiative and instructed a junior player “to carry out a plan to take steps to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper” – it was previously thought to be tape – before “failure to voluntarily report his knowledge of the plan after the match".
Bancroft has been banned for actively “carrying out instructions to attempt to artificially alter the condition of the ball” and “seeking to conceal evidence".
Having developed the plan to gain an unfair advantage, Warner will not be considered for a team leadership position in the future, while Smith and Bancroft will not be entrusted with a position of responsibility for a minimum of 12 months after the completion of their bans.
In addition, all three players will be required to undertake 100 hours of voluntary service in community cricket, and have been encouraged to play club cricket.
Cricket Australia chairman, David Peever, said: “As I indicated yesterday, the CA Board understands and shares the anger of fans and the broader Australian community about these events.
“They go to the integrity and reputation of Australian Cricket and Australian sport and the penalties must reflect that.
“These are significant penalties for professional players and the Board does not impose them lightly. It is hoped that following a period of suspension, the players will be able to return to playing the game they love and eventually rebuild their careers.”
Cricket Australia CEO, James Sutherland added: “The sanctions we have announced are significant for the individuals involved. That is why the process has had to be thorough to ensure that all relevant issues have been examined.
“I am satisfied that the sanctions in this case 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, all of whom have learned difficult lessons through these events.
“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.”
On Saturday, Smith was handed a one-match suspension and fined 100 per cent of his match fee by the ICC following his admission on Friday that he was party to a decision to attempt to alter the condition of the ball in order to gain an unfair advantage.
In addition, Bancroft was fined 75 per cent of his match fee and handed three demerit points for breaching Level 2 of the ICC Code of Conduct.
Bancroft admitted that he breached Article 2.2.9 of the ICC Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel, which relates to “changing the condition of the ball in breach of clause 41.3.” and accepted the sanction proposed by Andy Pycroft of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees, and as such there was no need for a formal hearing.
On Tuesday, Sutherland insisted coach Darren Lehmann would continue in his role, adding that Australia's batting trio were the only members privy to the ball-tampering plans. Sutherland also promised a wider independent review into the conduct and culture of the team.
Matt Renshaw, Glenn Maxwell and Joe Burns have replaced the banned trio ahead of the fourth Test which starts on Friday.