Romelu Lukaku has apologised to Inter Milan for comments he made in an interview where he claimed 23 out of 25 of their players had suffered coronavirus symptoms in January.
No members of the Inter squad have confirmed they have had the virus, but in an Instagram Live interview with Belgian television channel VIER, Lukaku claimed players returned from time off in December with what appeared to be symptoms.
Lukaku has apologised for the comments and has been disciplined by the Serie club, who are said to have been surprised by his suggestion.
The Belgium international was quoted as saying: "We had a week off in December, we returned to work and I swear that 23 out of 25 players were ill. I am not kidding.
"We played against Radja Nainggolan's Cagliari (on January 26) and after about 25 minutes, one of our defenders had to leave the pitch. He could not continue and almost fainted."
Though his name was not mentioned by Lukaku, Milan Skriniar was substituted after 17 minutes of that game, a 1-1 home draw with Cagliari.
Lukaku added: "Everyone was coughing and had a fever. When I was warming up, I felt a lot hotter than usual. I hadn't suffered from a fever in years.
"After the game, there was a planned dinner with guests, but I thanked them and went straight to bed. We never did the COVID-19 tests at that moment, so we'll never know for sure."
Italy is among the worst-affected countries amid the coronavirus pandemic, with the country's first official cases reported on January 31.