Hulk Hogan has apologised after it was reported that he used racist language during a private conversation.

The wrestling star issued a statement hours after World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) confirmed he had been dropped as their ambassador in the wake of the damaging revelations.

He said: "Eight years ago I used offensive language during a conversation. It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologise for having done it."

"I believe very strongly that every person in the world is important and should not be treated differently based on race, gender, orientation, religious beliefs or otherwise," he said.

Hogan added that he was "disappointed with myself" for using language that is "inconsistent with my own beliefs".

There had been speculation about Hogan's future at the organisation after it emerged all references to the Hall of Famer had been taken down from as well as all the merchandise from the official WWE online shop.

Hogan had also been removed as a judge in the organisation's Tough Enough TV contest.

On Friday, a joint report from and The National Enquirer said Hogan had used the N-word in a private conversation.

WWE confirmed his departure in a statement which read: "WWE terminated its contract with Terry Bollea (aka Hulk Hogan). WWE is committed to embracing and celebrating individuals from all backgrounds as demonstrated by the diversity of our employees, performers and fans worldwide."

Mr Hogan's lawyer, David Houston, told Sky News that Hogan had offered his resignation after learning about the impending National Enquirer report. Mr Houston said the WWE accepted Hogan's resignation.

Hogan is alleged to have made the remarks to Heather Clem, the same woman at the centre of Hogan's sex tape lawsuit involving US gossip site Gawker, after he learnt that his daughter Brooke was dating a black man.

In a private conversation he is alleged to have said: "I mean, I'd rather if she was going to f**k some n****r, I'd rather have her marry an 8-foot-tall n****r worth a hundred million dollars like a basketball player. I guess we're all a little racist. F*****g n****r."

On the morning of Hogan's contract being terminated, the wrestler posted a cryptic tweet to his 1.3m Twitter followers which said: "In the storm I release control, God and his Universe will sail me where he wants me to be, one love. HH."

Reacting to the scandal over the wrestling star's vile N-word rant, fellow WWE legend Virgil has spoken out to defend Hogan, stating, that while he doesn't condone his racist language, he had never known him to be racist.

He told TMZ Sports: "You can only judge a person based on past experience. Hulk Hogan has never given me a reason to believe he is a racist."

Hogan's daughter Brooke also wrote an emotional poem begging fans not to be "tough" on her father.

While the WWE star has been widely condemned for the racist language, many fans have pledged their support to him on social media. One fan wrote: "I still love you Hulk. We've all said things that we regret. Hulkamania 4 Life!"

"So Hulk Hogan says something stupid in his PERSONAL LIFE. Gets the footage STOLEN & now gets fired over it. Yea that's real fair. SMH," said another.

"Worked with the guy for 7 years. Never saw anything remotely close to racism from @HulkHogan."

Hogan was the main draw for WrestleMania in 1985 and was a fixture for years in the sport's flagship events. He won six WWE championships and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 by Sylvester Stallone.

He was able to transcend his "Hulkamania" fan base to become a celebrity outside the wrestling world.