Lyon striker Milan Baros has denied making a racist gesture after being accused of abusing Rennes player Stephane M’Bia in a Ligue 1 match on Wednesday.
French television showed the Czech striker pinching his nose and waving his hand at M’Bia as if he was overwhelmed by an offensive smell.
Cameroon-born M’Bia said afterwards he had been “deeply hurt by the gesture.”
The Czech international, who joined Lyon in January from Aston Villa, said in a statement published on Lyon’s website hat he regretted his gesture but denied he was being racist.
“Milan Baros merely wanted to tell (M’Bia) something he didn’t know how to say in French: ‘leave me alone and give me breathing space’,” the club said.
“Milan Baros has always denounced any form of racism, in sport and in life in general. Olympique Lyon share Baros’s commitment against racism,” the club added.