VIDEO: Peterborough Olympic Gymnast Louis Smith apologies for video mocking Islam
Peterborough Olympic medallist Louis Smith has apologised after a video was released showing him mocking Islam.
Footage appears to show Louis, with fellow gymnast Luke Carson, laughing while pretending to pray and shouting “Allahu Akbar”.
The Islamic phrase means “God is the greatest” in Arabic.
Reaction to the footage has been largely negative with some calling him a racist for appearing to mock a religion
Smith said: “I an 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 offense I have caused and to my family who have also been affected through my thoughtless actions.
“I recognise the severity of my mistake and hope it can be an example of how important it is to respect others at all times.
“I have learnt a valuable lesson and I wholeheartedly apologise.”
British Gymnastics has announced it will be “investigating” the incident.
The UK governing body for the sport of gymnastics 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.”
Louis Smith has represented Team GB in the past three Olympic games and won Strictly Come Dancing in 2012.