West Ham have suspended director of player recruitment Tony Henry after he was reported to have claimed the club would not sign any African players in the transfer window.
Henry was reportedly accused of racism and unlawful discrimination in a Daily Mail article which alleged he had told agents the club did not want players from Africa.
He was quoted in the report saying that players from the continent "have a bad attitude" and "cause mayhem" when left out of the first team.
"Tony Henry has been suspended pending a full and thorough investigation," read a West Ham statement.
"West Ham United will not tolerate any type of discrimination and has, therefore, acted swiftly due to the serious nature of these claims.
"The West Ham United family is an inclusive one where, regardless of gender, age, ability, race, religion or sexual orientation, everybody feels welcome and included.
"The club will make no further comment until the investigation has been concluded."
Henry is alleged to have made explicit reference to striker Diafra Sakho, sold by West Ham to French club Rennes for £8m on the penultimate day of the window.
“It’s just sometimes they can have a bad attitude," he is reported to have said.
"We had problems with Sakho, with Diafra Sakho. We find that when they are not in the team they cause mayhem. It’s nothing against the African race at all.”
West Ham currently have six first-team members of African descent.