Three Grenoble rugby players including a former All Blacks Sevens player are under investigation on suspicion of gang rape.
The trio, New Zealander Rory Grice, France's Loick Jammes and Ireland's Denis Coulson have been put under formal investigation by a French examining magistrate following a complaint by a 21 year-old woman.
She told police on March 12th she was drugged and taken to a hotel in Bordeaux where she was raped a French Top 14 game between clubs Bordeaux and Grenoble.
Prosecutors have issued a statement saying there was evidence that Grice, Jammes and Coulson had probably taken part 'either as initiator or accomplice' in the crime.
Rory Grice played for Waikato in the national provincial championship from 2011 to 2013 before leaving for France in 2014.
Being placed under formal investigation in France is often the first step to a trial but it does not necessarily mean that the case will go to court.
The three players were not thought to have been held in custody, but have been placed under restrictions which will require them to report regularly to French police until the case is resolved.
Last month, a lawyer for Coulson denied the allegations and described the incident "as a night out between consenting adults".