Louis Smith has been given a two-month ban by British Gymnastics after he appeared to mock Islam in a video that emerged last month.
The four-time Olympic medallist has already apologised after a video, filmed by Smith that included his friend and retired fellow gymnast Luke Carson, mimicked Islamic prayer practices.
The incident happened a month after Smith competed at the Rio Olympic Games, where he won a silver medal in the men’s pommel horse.
He issued a statement soon after the video was leaked to the media to say he was “deeply sorry” for his “thoughtless actions”. The 27-year-old also said that his heavy training regime during his gymnastic career has not allowed him to “behave like an idiot” when he was younger, but accepted that his actions were inappropriate nonetheless.
A statement from British Gymnastics read: “Formal disciplinary proceedings have been conducted with regard to a recent video which captured the behaviour of British Gymnastics members Louis Smith and Luke Carson, alleged to be a potential breach of the Standards of Conduct.
“Louis Smith admitted his behaviour was a breach of the Standards of Conduct. The Panel upheld the allegation and taking into account a previous breach of the Standards of Conduct heard in June this year (where it also was made clear to Louis the consequences of any further breach), the Panel determined a cumulative penalty was appropriate and ordered a two-month period of suspension.”
Carson was issued a reprimand due to his clean record, which will remain for two years.
Jane Allen, chief executive of British Gymnastics, said that while both men has shown “remorse” for their actions, the governing body had to take action which left a shadow over Team GB’s record-breaking performance at Rio 2016.
“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 Allen.
“As the custodians of the integrity and values of the sport, we have had no choice but to act responsibly and refer this case to an independent Panel for their review and determination.
“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.”
•Sourced from The Independent (London). Photo by Getty Images shows Louis Smith in action during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.