Two-time Olympic silver medallist and Team GB star Louis Smith has been handed a two-month ban from gymnastics. The punishment, decided by an independent panel, comes after the 27-year-old appeared to mock Islam while appearing alongside former Commonwealth Games gymnast Luke Carson in a hugely controversial video. The footage was leaked to The Sun via photo-messaging application Snapchat earlier this month after the pair were said to have attended the wedding of teammate Dan Keatings in Kettering.
Both men subsequently issued public apologies and British Gymnastics later confirmed it would be investigating the incident. Their findings were finally announced on Tuesday (1 November), with Smith admitting that his behaviour constituted a breach of the Standards of Conduct. The organisation decided upon a suspension after taking into account an initial reprimand handed down in June for an image posted on social media.
"It is regrettable that following a historic summer of achievement, the organisation finds itself in this difficult position with two high profile members in breach of our standards of conduct," said chief executive Jane Allen.
"As the custodians of the integrity and values of the sport, we have had no choice but to act responsibly and refer this case to an independent panel for their review and determination. 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."
According to the official statement released by British Gymnastics, Carson also conceded that he was in breach of the code but avoided a ban owing to his previously clean record. Instead the Northern Irishman, who announced his retirement from competitive action in November 2015 due to ongoing medical issues, was handed a "reprimand that will remain on Luke's record for two years".