Sale wing Tom Arscott has been suspended by his club over an alleged leak of information to Bristol that is being investigated by the Rugby Football Union.
The RFU is investigating a complaint made by Sale regarding the 'passing of information to the opposition team' ahead of the Aviva Premiership match against Bristol at the AJ Bell Stadium on New Year's Day, which the hosts lost 24-23.
The probe is believed to centre on a meeting between Arscott and brother Luke - who plays for Bristol - on New Year's Eve.
Sale director of rugby Steve Diamond on Tuesday revealed Tom has been suspended over the matter since January 4, and the north west club are now awaiting further news from the RFU.
Diamond said: 'We investigated it internally and we are going through a disciplinary, and under the regulations, we have to report it (to the RFU), so we did that yesterday. It's now in the hands of the RFU. He is suspended.'
Bristol have released a statement saying they are aware of a complaint from Sale and 'the club are confident of no wrongdoing in this matter'.
Bristol fought back from 15-0 down to win the Aviva Premiership encounter 24-23 at the AJ Bell Stadium on New Year's Day.
An RFU spokesman said: 'The RFU are investigating a complaint made by Sale Sharks in relation to the passing of information to the opposition team ahead of the match against Bristol earlier this month.'
Sale are next in action when they host the Scarlets in their final European Champions Cup group game on Saturday.
Bristol - who are bottom of the Premiership, seven points adrift of 10th-placed Sale - welcome Cardiff Blues in the European Challenge Cup this weekend.
The club have enjoyed a resurgence in form in recent weeks, earning valuable wins against Sale and fellow strugglers Worcester.
It remains to be seen what the potential consequences could be for Bristol should the allegations be proved correct.