In May 2017, Russell's father Keith was sacked from his role as director of domestic rugby at the SRU, and the following summer won an unfair dismissal claim against the union, in which the judge's ruling was scathing of chief executive Mark Dodson.
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However, Rob Robertson, a rugby correspondent for the Scottish Daily Mail, in a social media post, said it involved alcohol. "He left the Scotland camp to return to Paris", Robertson tweeted. He was also part of Scotland's World Cup campaigns in 2015 and 2019.
Russell is one worldwide appearance away from his 50th cap.
As an "exiled" player with Racing 92 and therefore not under contract to the SRU, Russell could feature for his club this weekend, although it is unclear at this stage if Racing intend to select the stand-off for their Top 14 game away to Castres. The then Glasgow Warriors first five-eighth was enrolled with the Lincoln University club, billeted with a family in Christchurch and given a bicycle so he could travel to Rugby Park to train at the IHPU.