Sassuolo forward Federico Di Francesco has denied aiming racial abuse at Juventus star Douglas Costa following Sunday's shocking spitting incident.
The Brazilian was sent off at the end of I Bianconeri's 2-1 victory - in which Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first pair of goals for the Serie A champions - after spitting in the mouth of the Sassuolo player and is yet to learn his fate, having also headbutt and elbowed the 21-year-old prior to the spraying of spittle in his face.
Costa's response to a fan on Instagram set off talk of racial abuse, while Juventus boss Max Allegri suggested that the player was provoked. Costa also made sure not to make any mention of Di Francesco in his apology for the incident.
The forward, who is the son of AS Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco, has since denied racially abusing the Brazilian, claiming to be "profoundly upset by the allegations".
"I am profoundly upset by the allegations and the inventions which have appeared on various national media outlets," he said. "All of this is offensive and denigratory.
"I will not allow racist behaviour and/or phrases that do not pertain to my values and ethics, and that are fruits of the imagination of others, be attributed to me. I ask for and demand respect."
Costa is expected to be suspended for three matches as punishment for his actions, but the authorities are also expected to review the incident from several angles in order to determine whether or not the Brazilian was provoked or racially abused.