Team GB Olympian and Strictly Star Louis Smith has been handed a two-month suspension by British Gymnastics after a video has surfaced of him appearing to mock Islam with former gymnast Luke Carson.
The footage shows Carson mimicking the Islamic call to prayer while Smith can be heard laughing from behind the camera.
The video goes on to show Carson ripping a hanging rug off the wall while Louis laughs, holding an alcoholic drink. While his friends pretend to pray in the background, Smith continues to make yelling sounds then begins to rant incoherently about “60 virgins…”
A woman then tells them “You’re not funny” to which Smith simply responded “Yes, it is.”
After receiving his suspension the 27-year old pommel silver medallist said he was “deeply sorry” for his actions and has since visited two mosques and posted a video, stating the experience had been a “very big eye-opener.”
In a subsequent Facebook post he said “I was ignorant to people’s religion. And I apologised for offending those who follow the faith. And just because I have the right to doesn’t mean I’m happy with doing that.”
According to British Gymnastics, Smith’s suspension was a “cumulative penalty” for a breach of its standards and conducts on more than one occasion, and Carson has been handed a reprimand.
Jane Allen, the governing body’s chief executive said: “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.”
She added: “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.”
Both Smith and Carson have since apologised for the incident and while they appeared to show remorse, this will no doubt have a negative impact on Smith’s character after becoming a household name in 2012 when he won Strictly Come Dancing.
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