Newcastle Knights forward Mitch Barnett is adamant he did not racially abuse Gold Coast rival Tyrone Peachey during his side's crushing 36-6 loss to the Titans on Friday night.
The NRL is set to investigate allegations Peachey was call a "black c***" during the second half of the game on the Gold Coast.
Peachey made the claims to referee Chris Sutton late in the match with microphones picking up audio of the Titans lock telling the referee: "That backrower just called me a black c***".
When asked several times by Sutton if he wanted to make a formal complaint about the alleged incident, Peachey shook his head and walked away.
The NRL Integrity Unit is launching an investigation with the Gold Coast club set to put out a statement about the incident on Saturday.
In a statement released about 1.30pm the Knights said they "are assisting the NRL following a racial abuse allegation made against one of its players in the Round 20 match against the Gold Coast".
The satement continued: "The player accused of these comments denies making any racial remarks or slurs.
"The club is conducting its own investigation into the claims and working alongside the NRL integrity unit.
"Racism and vilification have no place in the game and as a club, the Knights support a tough stance against anyone who feels that sort of behaviour is acceptable.
"Rugby league brings communities and cultures together as an inclusive sport.
"The club has been in dialogue with the Titans overnight and the two players involved in the alleged incident have also spoken.
"With the matter before the Integrity Unit, the club will make no further comment."
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The Herald has been told Barnett has spoken to the club and is adamant he did not racially abuse Peachey during a tackle in the second half.
The incident clouds even further a dark night for the Knights, who blew a golden opportunity to host next weekend's elimination final against South Sydney with their most inept performance of the season.
The game will now be held in Sydney, most likely on Sunday, following Souths devastating final round 60-8 win over the Sydney Roosters.
Adding to Newcastle's misery, interchange prop Jacob Saifiti is on report and could face a suspension if found guilty of a crusher tackle.
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