An American football college player appears to have been a victim of a cruel online hoax.
Notre Dame's Manti Te'o made the headlines across the States after he dedicated many of his wins to his girlfriend Lennay Kekua, who he said had died after a short battle with leukaemia - just hours after his beloved grandmother died.
Three days later, Te'o played the game of his life, leading his side to a 20-3 victory over Michigan State.
His emotional heart-wrenching story led him to be on the shortlist for the award for the best player in college football and he was expected to be a top pick in the NFL draft.
However an investigation by sports magazine Deadspin revealed that there was no record of the girl ever existing and implied that the hoax was an attempt by Te'o and friends to raise his profile.
It appeared that his only interaction with the woman he called his girlfriend appears to be via Twitter.
But Notre Dame issued a statement claiming that it was Te'o who was the victim of the hoax.
Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick said the university learned of the hoax from Te'o on Boxing Day:
In a statement issued on behalf of the player, Te'o said:
Te'o appears to have deleted most references to Lennay Kekua on his Twitter account with just a few tweets remaining including this one naming Lennay Kekua as one of his family:
The Twitter account which appears to have been run by the hoaxer has retweeted several tweets from Te'o paying tribute to his "girlfriend" back in September and November:
The most recent tweet appears to hint at more information to come: