Britain's Smith in trouble over 'mocking' video


London (AFP)

Olympic silver medallist Louis Smith could be suspended by British Gymnastics after a video in which he appeared to mock Islam was published online.

Footage showed Smith, 27, and fellow gymnast Luke Carson laughing whilst pretending to pray and shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is great).

That prompted officials to issue a statement on Monday that said: "British Gymnastics does not condone the mocking of any faith or religion and is appalled by such behaviours.

"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."

This year's Olympic Games in Rio saw Smith win a silver medal on the pommel horse, with British team-mate Max Whitlock taking gold. Whitlock also won the floor title.

Smith said after the Games he was planning to spend a year away from gymnastics to concentrate on other ventures.

He apologised for the video on Twitter on Monday by saying: "I am deeply sorry for the recent video you may have seen.

"I am not defending myself, what I did was wrong. 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."