Huntingdon gymnast apologises after appearing to mock Islam online

Louis Smith

Louis Smith - Credit: Archant

Huntingdon gymnast Louis Smith says he is “deeply sorry” after a video appeared online suggesting he was mocking Islam.

Louis Smith

Louis Smith - Credit: Archant

The footage, which also appears to feature fellow gymnast Luke Carson, reportedly shows Louis laughing and pretending to pray.

The 27-year-old is also said to be seen shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’, meaning ‘God is the greatest’ in Arabic.

In a statement released on Twitter, the Olympic silver medallist said: “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 offence 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.”

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The UK governing body of the sport, British Gymnasts, 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.”