The French Federation has suspended the registration of new Avignon signing Ludovic Radosavljevic.
Radosavljevic, 32, was banned for 26 weeks back in September after being found guilty of racially abusing an opponent in a second tier rugby union match.
He was later sacked by club Provence, with his ban not due to be up until April 25.
But earlier this week, French Elite Championship side Avignon announced his signing.
A club statement said: “The whole club wants to give Ludovic a second chance. We do not endorse or share his words, which are in no way based on his values.
“This sentence is a mistake, not a conviction, for which he immediately admitted his wrongs and issued a public apology.
“Ludovic has proven, in more than 10 years of high level, his sporting and human qualities. It is now a new challenge at XIII that opens for him, but also for the club.
“This is the first time in the history of the French XIII that a former professional TOP14 player in this position has joined the Elite 1 championship.
“He is committed to maintaining an exemplary attitude, as he always had during his previous professional adventures, a necessary condition for his integration into the Club.
“We have no doubt that the inclusion of Ludovic in the Group, approved by all of the club’s stakeholders, will be a great experience.”
Federation suspends licence
Although his registration was initially approved last week, the French Federation have now revoked it pending an investigation.
A FFR statement said: “After a thorough check and an exchange with the club concerned, the federation
confirms having received a license request from the Avignon club.
“This license was issued on November 17 by the administrative licensing service of the FFR XIII.
“As soon as the Federation has been informed of the particular situation of this player, the license has was immediately suspended as a precaution last night, pending the ethics committee of the FFR XIII (meeting) today.”
Scrum-half Rasodavljevic was born in Avignon and is of Serbian descent.
He has also played for Castres, where he won the Top 14 in 2018, and Clermont.
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