Louis Smith banned by British Gymnastics over Islam-mocking video

 
Frank Dalleres
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Gymnastics - Artistic - Olympics: Day 3
Smith won his second Olympic silver medal at Rio 2016 (Source: Getty)

British Gymnastics has banned Olympic silver medallist Louis Smith over a video in which he appeared to mock Islam.

Smith – one of the stars of Team GB's historic success at the Rio 2016 Games earlier this year – received a two-month suspension after admitting to breaching British Gymnastics' standards of conduct.

Fellow gymnast Luke Carson, who appeared alongside Smith in the controversial mobile phone clip, which emerged last month, also admitted misconduct and received a formal reprimand.

Read more: Smith shunned by sponsor and facing probe over Islam video

“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 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.”

Smith "deeply sorry"

Smith, 27, became the country's best-known gymnast when he won silver and bronze at London 2012 and his profile increased further later that year when he won television's Strictly Come Dancing.

He won a second silver in Brazil this summer, where he was beaten to pommel horse gold by Team GB colleague and rival Max Whitlock.

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

They appeared to poke fun at Islam in the clip by taking part in mock prayer.

Smith apologised for the video after it emerged, saying he was "deeply sorry" and conceding he had caused "deep offense".

Gymnastics kit manufacturer Milano Pro Sports, which had previously sponsored Smith, said it would not look to work with him again.

Smith received a more severe punishment than Carson because he had already been warned about his behaviour earlier this year.

That warning came when he criticised judging at the British Championships on social media after losing to Whitlock.

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