London - Three Leicester City youth players, including manager Nigel Pearson's son James, have apologised after British Sunday newspaper allegations that they appeared in a racist sex tape during the club's post-season Thailand trip.
"Tom Hopper, James Pearson and Adam Smith would like to convey their sincere apologies for their behaviour - to the women involved in the incident, to the club and its owners, to the club's fans and to their families," a club statement said.
"A formal process of investigation will be undertaken with the players in conjunction with their representatives and, as such, no further comment can be made at this stage."
Midlands side Leicester, who produced a remarkable late-season surge to secure their Premier League safety, are owned by Thai billionaire father and son Vichai and Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha.
"Leicester City remains wholly committed to promoting equality in football and in wider society and to our players recognising their responsibilities as role models to young people," the club added on its website (www.lcfc.com).
The involvement of his son is a big embarrassment for manager Pearson, who has been hailed by fans for managing the 'great escape' from relegation but who courted controversy throughout the season.
He grabbed Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur round the throat in a February game and was then wrongly rumoured to have been sacked, while in April he gave a bizarre news conference where he compared a reporter to an ostrich.
James Pearson, who has made one appearance in a League Cup tie, has been sent back to England ahead of the rest of the squad along with Hopper and Smith, neither of whom has played for the first team.