British gymnast Louis Smith gets 2-month suspension for insulting Islam
Two-time Olympic silver medalist Louis Smith was suspended for two months by the British gymnastics federation on Tuesday after appearing to mock Islam in a video.Updated: Nov 01, 2016 21:26 IST
Two-time Olympic silver medalist Louis Smith was suspended for two months by the British gymnastics federation on Tuesday after appearing to mock Islam in a video.
An independent panel found that Smith’s behavior was “a breach of the standards of conduct.”
Smith and former British teammate Luke Carson appeared in a leaked video laughing and pretending to pray while shouting “Allahu Akbar,” Arabic for “God is greatest.”
Smith apologized for the incident.
Smith had been warned in June after a previous, unrelated case of misconduct. Following the latest breach, the disciplinary panel “determined a cumulative penalty was appropriate and ordered a two-month period of suspension.”
Carson was handed a “reprimand” because he had no previous cases. The reprimand will remain on his record for two years, the federation said.
Smith won silver medals in the pommel horse at the 2012 London Olympics and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. He won bronze in the pommel horse at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a team bronze in London.
Carson, who has competed for Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games and other international events, retired last year because of injuries.
The two-month suspension won’t have much impact on the 27-year-old Smith. No major competitions are scheduled before the end of the year. The only domestic event he would miss is the British Club Team Championships in December.
Britain won seven gymnastics medals in Rio.
“It is regrettable that following a historic summer of achievement, the organization 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 in a statement.
“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.”
First Published: Nov 01, 2016 20:22 IST