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Sponsor shuns Louis Smith and British Gymnastics opens investigation into Rio 2016 Olympics star's controversial video

Frank Dalleres
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Louis Smith at the Rio 2016 Olympics
Smith won silver on the pommel horse for Team GB in Rio this year (Source: Getty)

A gymnastics kit manufacturer says it does not intend to work with Louis Smith again after the British Olympic star appeared to mock Islam in a mobile phone video.

Smith, who won pommel horse silver as Team GB amassed a record medal haul in Rio de Janeiro this year, is also facing the threat of suspension or even expulsion by British Gymnastics.

The 27-year-old has apologised for his part in the clip, which was leaked at the weekend, in which he and fellow gymnast Luke Carson appear to pretend to pray.

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Kit maker Milano Pro Sports, a former sponsor of Smith, distanced itself from the athlete.

“Whilst Louis Smith has appeared in brochures for us in the past we have no current relationship with him and have no plans to do so in the future,” the company said.

British Gymnastics opens investigation

British Gymnastics said it would investigate the video and may take disciplinary action.

“British Gymnastics does not condone the mocking of any faith or religion and is appalled by such behaviours,” it said.

“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.”

Northern Irishman Carson, 26, competed at five World Championships before retiring last year due to persistent injury problems.

Smith is a three-time Olympian who won silver and bronze at London 2012 and a former European and Commonwealth champion.

He also won television’s Strictly Come Dancing in 2012 and retired from gymnastics in 2013, only to make a comeback a year later.

Smith sorry for "deep offense"

Smith said he “deeply sorry” for the video in a statement on Sunday night.

“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 recognise the severity of my mistake and I 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.”

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