Louis Smith sorry for video allegedly showing him mocking Islam
Louis Smith and Max Whitlock on the podium at Rio
British gymnast Louis Smith has taken to Twitter to apologise after a video surfaced online of him and a friend appearing to mock Islam by pretending to pray and shouting "Allahu Akbar".
Smith posted a status on Sunday stating he was "deeply sorry" for the video and that he had "learned a valuable life lesson" from the experience.
An apology from me pic.twitter.com/Fns7tsKD96
— Louis Smith MBE (@louissmith1989) October 9, 2016
The video, which also featured fellow gymnast Luke Carson, was filmed at a wedding in Northamptonshire. Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of the Ramadan Foundation, told The Sun it was "outrageous somebody can mock any faith" but said it was particularly "unacceptable" for Muslims when "we are facing the problems that we face in this country".
He added: "Our faith is not to be mocked, our faith is to be celebrated and I think people will be offended by this."
British Gymnastics, the UK's governing body for the sport, 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."
Smith has won gymnastics medals at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics, with the most recent being a silver medal in the pommel horse in Rio de Janeiro this year.