Skipper Warburton will miss next Friday's third place play-off game following his appearance at a World Cup disciplinary hearing in Auckland on Sunday.
The independent judicial officer, England's Christopher Quinlan QC, hit Warburton with a three-week ban following his 18th-minute red card when he committed what was deemed a dangerous tip tackle on France wing Vincent Clerc.
Warburton admitted the offence at a hearing when evidence was presented by the player, Wales coach Warren Gatland and Warburton's legal representative Aaron Lloyd.
Tackles involving a player being lifted off the ground and tipped horizontally and then forced, or dropped, to the ground are illegal and constitute dangerous play, the International Rugby Board had previously ruled.
An IRB memorandum issued more than two years ago stated that such tackles "must be dealt with severely by referees and those involved in the off-field disciplinary process."
Quinlan concluded that the offence was mid-range on the scale of seriousness, which has an entry point of six weeks.
He found that there were no aggravating features and there were compelling mitigating features, including the player's admission, outstanding character and disciplinary record and remorse, which saw the suspension cut in half.
Warburton will be available for the start of Cardiff Blues' Heineken Cup campaign, which begins with an away game against Paris-based Racing Metro on November 11.
He has 48 hours to lodge any appeal but said after the verdict: "Obviously I'm very disappointed but all my attention and focus now goes towards the players playing on Friday and supporting them the best I can."
Rolland's decision proved a cruel way for flanker Warburton, one of the tournament's top players, to make his World Cup exit, and it gained mass sympathy from his team-mates.
"He has to bounce back from it now," former Wales captain and World Cup colleague Ryan Jones said.
"It is a difficult position to be in and he is going to go through it, but he's a big enough character to get over it.
"I didn't know what was happening. From the bench we could see Sam walking off, so we all assumed he had been yellow-carded. Then you could see a little red pop up on the big screen.
"Sam has been fantastic all tournament, and he was a big loss to us as a team. He is a fantastic player who has starred in this World Cup."
Wales defence coach and former rugby league star Shaun Edwards resisted any temptation to publicly condemn the red card decision when he faced the media at the squad's central Auckland hotel today ahead of Warburton's hearing.
"It is very tempting to come out with loud statements, but it is more important I keep my dignity in what are quite trying times," Edwards said.
"He deserved a penalty at least, and potentially a yellow card in my opinion, but in the end it is what the referee decides, not what I think. We have to adhere to what Mr Rolland decides.
"It definitely wasn't deliberate with Sam. I've seen it deliberate where you put your hand underneath the crotch, lift and spin a player.
"I've had it done to me a number of times and it is absolutely horrible. So you know it's deliberate when you see someone put a hand underneath the crotch and spin them round and drive them to the floor.
"With Sam it was an incredibly dominant hit, as you would expect.
"He showed he was much more powerful than the guy he tackled, and he ended up in a position that got him sent off. Mr Rolland believed, obviously, it was a sending-off offence.
"What happened with Sam, speaking to him, was he felt that the guy (Clerc) felt very light in his hands and it was all done in a very quick manner."
Had Warburton stayed on, then it is a reasonable bet that Wales would have prevailed and reached their first World Cup final.
Even with 14 men for more than an hour, they lost only 9-8 and scored the game's only try through scrum-half Mike Phillips.
"Everyone from here back to Wales will be debating it for many months to come - for the next four years, even. The decision has cost us a World Cup final place," Jones added.
"There were 22 blokes out there who put their hearts and souls into a performance, and they were good enough to win a World Cup semi-final.
"It is a measure of this team that we did enough to win a place in that final. But the history books will say that we were losing semi-finalists."
And Warburton found further allies in Phillips and wing Shane Williams, who both paid him glowing tributes during a tournament when he emerged as a world-class openside flanker in the same mould as global stars like Richie McCaw and David Pocock.
"I told Sam after the game that he is a great player and it has been a pleasure playing under him," said Phillips.
"If it wasn't for him, we would not have come this far. It wasn't his fault at all."
And Williams added: "There is no use blaming Sam for anything.
"He was committed to the tackle and he is a strong guy. He is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet and there was no malice in it.
"It really knocked us for six. These things happen in world rugby, but unfortunately it happened to us at the worst possible time."
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