Olympian slammed for video mocking Islam
GB silver medallist Louis Smith may face expulsion by British Gymnastics
Olympian Louis Smith, who won a silver medal for Great Britain on the pommel horse at the Rio Olympics this year, has apologised for the offensive video in which himself and a fellow gymnast drunkenly lampoon Islam.
The Team GB star is seen in his own footage standing beside his friend Luke Carson, who can be heard yelling 'Allahu Akbar' while kneeling on a rug which had been pulled off the wall.
According to reports, the pair had been attending the wedding of gymnast Daniel Keatings when they engaged in the offensive behaviour. A lady can be seen in the video attempting to intervene as Smith, who was awarded an MBE in 2013 for services to sport, continued to film the episode before claiming Carson was "doing his six o'clock prayers".
Smith's conduct initially caused outrage on Twitter, with some observers stating that he could not longer be regarded as a role model. Smith has widely been accused of racism following the publication of the footage and some called for him to be stripped of his MBE.
The 27-year-old Olympian issued an apology on Monday 10th October, acknowledging that the video caused “deep offence”, in which he insists he has learned a "life lesson".
But the pommel horse silver and bronze medallist could still face disciplinary action after British Gymnastics said it would investigate footage published by The Sun newspaper over the weekend.
“British Gymnastics does not condone the mocking of any faith or religion and is appalled by such behaviours,” a statement read.
“Gymnastics is an inclusive sport and we are proud of members who portray the inclusive values of British Gymnastics.
“Members who break our code of conduct can face suspension or expulsion from our organisation. We will be investigating the behaviours reported.”
Smith, who has won medals at the past three Olympic Games, has already been censured twice this year by British Gymnastics.
In April, the 27-year-old apologised for questioning the judging at the British Championships, where he was beaten to pommel gold by Max Whitlock.
He was also reprimanded in June for posting an image on social media of an American gymnast, who was 16 when the photograph was taken, accompanied by a comment British Gymnastics said was "unbefitting to a participant".
That reprimand was to remain on his record for two years with the added warning "any further misconduct may lead to even greater consequences".
Smith is one of Britain's best-known gymnasts and won the BBC show Strictly Come Dancing in 2012.
Olympian Louis Smith apologises
"I am deeply sorry for the recent video you may have seen. I am not defending myself, what I did was wrong," the 2012 Strictly Come Dancing winner said, via Twitter. "I want to say sorry for the deep offense (sic) I have caused and to my family who have also been affected by my thoughtless actions. I recognise 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."