updated 9/25/2006 1:55:12 PM ET 2006-09-25T17:55:12

Sen. George Allen on Monday denounced as “ludicrously false” claims from a former college football teammate that he frequently used a racial slur to refer to black people.

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Dr. Ken Shelton, now a radiologist in Hendersonville, N.C., also alleges that Allen, a former University of Virginia quarterback, once stuffed the severed head of a deer into a black household’s oversized mail box.

In an Associated Press interview Monday, Allen vehemently denied the allegations Shelton made in an article published Sunday in the online magazine Salon.com and an AP interview Sunday night. His campaign released statements from four other ex-teammates defending Allen and rejecting Shelton’s claims.

“The story and his comments and assertions in there are completely false,” Allen said during an interview with AP reporters and editors. “I don’t remember ever using that word and it is absolutely false that that was ever part of my vocabulary.”

Questions about racial insensitivity have dogged the Republican throughout his re-election bid against Democrat Jim Webb. His use of the word “macaca” in referring to a Webb campaign volunteer of Indian descent in August prompted an outcry. The word denotes a genus of monkeys and, in some cultures, is considered an ethnic slur.

Shelton, a tight end and wide receiver for the Cavaliers in the early 1970s, said Allen used the N-word only around white teammates.

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During a deer hunt with Allen in the early 1970s, Shelton said, Allen asked whether black families lived in the area before stuffing a female deer’s head into the mail box of a black household.

“George insisted on taking the severed head, and I was a little shocked by that,” Shelton said.

“This was just after the movie “The Godfather” came out with the severed horse’s head in the bed,” Shelton told the AP.

Doug Jones, who said he roomed with Shelton at Virginia, said in a statement that he never saw or heard anything from Allen that supports Shelton’s claims.

“I never heard George Allen use any racially disparaging word nor did I ever witness or hear about him acting in a racially insensitive manner,” Jones said.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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