Louis Smith: British Gymnastics bans four-time Olympic medallist over video

Louis Smith

Louis Smith has won medals for Great Britain at the past three Olympics

Four-time Olympic medallist Louis Smith has been suspended for two months by British Gymnastics over a video in which he appeared to mock Islam.

The video, filmed by Smith but leaked to the media, appeared to show him laughing while retired gymnast Luke Carson mimicked Islamic prayer practices.

Smith, who won pommel horse silver at Rio 2016, later said he was “deeply sorry” for his “thoughtless actions”.

Carson was given a reprimand.

Smith, 27, is one of Britain’s best known gymnasts and won the BBC show Strictly Come Dancing in 2012.

“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,” British Gymnastics chief executive Jane Allen said.

“As the custodians of the integrity and values of the sport, we have had no choice but to act responsibly.

“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.”


Louis Smith on the Strictly Come Dancing live tour in 2013, with dance partner Ola Jordan

British Gymnastics said Smith’s ban was a “cumulative penalty” because of a previous breach of its rules on conduct.

He was reprimanded in June for posting an image on social media of an American gymnast, who was 16 when the photograph was taken, accompanied by a comment British Gymnastics said was “unbefitting to a participant”.

In April, he apologised for questioning the judging at the British Championships, where he was beaten to pommel gold by Max Whitlock.

Carson’s reprimand will stay on his record for two years, but the 27-year-old is still able to coach.

Smith is taking a break from the sport and is touring as a guest celebrity on the Keep Dancing stage production.

Full story to follow.

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