British Olympian Louis Smith has apologised for appearing to mock Islam in a video published by the Sun newspaper.
Smith and fellow gymnast Luke Carson were filmed laughing and shouting “Allahu Akbar” and pretending to get down on their hands and knees and pray. The incident is alleged to have taken place at
the wedding of gymnast Dan Keatings.
“I am deeply sorry,” wrote in a message on Twitter. “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 recognised 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.”
British Gymnastics have said they are “appalled” by the actions of Smith and Carson and will be investigating the incident.
“We would like to make our position known with regards to media reports involving Louis Smith and Luke Carson,” a statement read.
“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.”
Smith is one of Britain’s most well known Olympians. He has competed in the last three Olympics and won a silver medal on the pommel horse. The 27-year-old is also a former winner of the hit BBC show Strictly Come Dancing.