The Rugby Football Union have confirmed they are investigating the registration of Exeter wing Nemani Nadolo after the Aviva Premiership club admitted to an "administrative error".
Exeter had left the 23-year-old Fijian, who has made four appearances since joining the club from Bourgoin in January, out of their squad for the Premiership defeat to Bath on Saturday amid speculation that the top-flight newcomers could face a points deduction for fielding the three-quarter incorrectly.
Despite acknowledging that they had made a mistake the west country outfit said they had yet to receive any correspondence on the matter from the governing body but an RFU spokesperson said: "The RFU can confirm that it has been looking into the registration of Nemani Nadolo. Exeter Chiefs have fully co-operated with us throughout and we will keep them fully informed while the matter is concluded."
Exeter have enjoyed an excellent first season in the top flight and the pre-season relegation favourites currently lie 16 points above basement club Newcastle.
It is understood that even if the Chiefs are found guilty of any wrongdoing it is highly unlikely that any points deduction would be severe enough to drop them into the relegation mire, given the recent punishments dished out for fielding ineligible players.
Sale were deducted a point in 2009 after putting hooker David Ward on the bench despite failing to re-register the player following a loan spell at Manchester.
And this season Wasps were docked a point in the LV= Cup after fielding ineligible flanker Joe Burton against Exeter.
An Exeter spokesman had earlier said: "There has been an administrative error and we are waiting to hear from the RFU. We have not been charged with anything as yet.
"We withdrew Nemani from yesterday's game against Bath due to the error, but there has been no deduction or anything like that and there has been no official charge."
Head coach Rob Baxter had said following defeat at The Rec: "Due to a couple of administrative things we had to withdraw Nemani from the side, but a full statement will be coming out about that in the future when we know a little bit more about what is happening."