Northampton Saints player Brett Sharman is under investigation by his club after posting an alleged racist tweet about double British Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah.
The message, posted ahead of Farah's Olympic 5,000 metres final 12 days ago, was deleted shortly after it had been sent.
Farah, who added the 5,000 metres Olympic title to his 10,000 metres gold at London 2012, was born in Somalia but came to live in the United Kingdom, aged eight.
South Africa-born hooker Sharman, 25, publicly apologised for the tweet and closed his Twitter account.
In a statement, Aviva Premiership club Saints said:
– Northampton Saints
Northampton Saints treats all such matters seriously.
The club has a clear policy regarding social media and is following the procedures set out in that policy.
Northampton Saints do not comment on individual cases.
Sharman has not been included in Northampton's match-day squads for either of their final two pre-season friendlies against Moseley and Edinburgh.