French rugby bosses have launched action against Ali Williams after the former All Blacks' arrest in Paris in an alleged cocaine bust.

The French National Rugby League (LNR) has today announced disciplinary proceedings are now formally open against Williams, 35.

In a statement released today (NZT), LNR said an official complaint has been filed by the organisation's president Paul Goze.

Williams was charged by French police with buying cocaine last weekend, while former Australian international James O'Connor was charged with being in possession of the Class A drug after police stopped the pair on Sunday.

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The pair were arrested at 3am outside a nightclub.

"In accordance with the statement published by the National Rugby League on February 25 following the placement on hold for Ali Williams and James O'Connor, the president of the NRL filed a complaint with the league disciplinary commission against two players," the LNR statement said.

"Ali Williams and James O'Connor will be convened by the commission on a date to be communicated at a later date."

Rugby World Cup-winner Williams has been suspended by Paris club Racing 92, which has also dropped him as its official ambassador.

O'Connor has also been suspended by his club, Toulon.

Williams was due to appear before a judge and a prosecutor in a closed court this week.

The former All Black this week issued a public apology on social media, saying: "I made a big mistake and I'm sorry. I feel I've let down our beloved rugby community. I will face the consequences. Thanks 4 all the support."

His arrest was is the second off-field incident that has impacted the club in the past three weeks.

Former All Black Dan Carter faces drink-driving charges after being pulled over in Paris last month.

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Steve Tew has criticised Williams and Carter, who have both used social media to apologise for their behaviour.

"It's very disappointing for them and the club they now play for; and disappointing for rugby and the All Blacks," Tew said.