Olympian Louis Smith banned by British Gymnastics over appearing to mock Islam in video
The four-time Olympic medallist has been suspended for two months14:00 Tuesday 1 November 2016, 14:00 1 Nov 2016
Olympian Louis Smith has been banned by British Gymnastics for two months over a video in which he appeared to mock Islam.
The film appeared to show the four-time Olympic medallist laughing at retired gymnast Luke Carson as he mimicked Islamic prayer practices.
"It is regrettable that following a historic summer of achievement, the organisation finds itself in this difficult position with two high-profile members in breach of our standards of conduct," said British Gymnastics chief executive, Jane Allen.
"As the custodians of the integrity and values of the sport, we have had no choice but to act responsibly.
"Whilst both individuals showed remorse following the incident, we hope in the future they use their profile to have a positive impact on sport and communities."
Smith took to Twitter to issue a full apology after the video surfaced saying: "I am deeply sorry. I am not defending myself, what I did was wrong. I want to say sorry for the deep offense I have caused and to my family who have also been affected by my thoughtless actions.
"I recognised the severity of my mistake and hope it can be used as an example of how important it is to respect others at all times. I have learnt a valuable life lesson and I wholeheartedly apologise."
An apology from me pic.twitter.com/Fns7tsKD96— Louis Smith MBE (@louissmith1989) October 9, 2016
British Gymnastics said Smith's ban was a "cumulative penalty" due to his previous breaches of its rules on conduct.
Carson was reprimanded for his role in the video.
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