German cycling director sent home from Tokyo after racial slur

·2-min read
Photo credit: Tim de Waele - Getty Images
Photo credit: Tim de Waele - Getty Images

The German Cycling Federation’s sporting director has been sent home from the Olympics after he was caught using a racial slur during the men’s time trial.

Patrick Moster was recorded telling rider Nikias Arndt to ‘get the camel riders’ as he tried to catch up to riders from Algeria and Eritrea. His words were caught live on German television.

Moster later apologised for his remarks. According to the German cycling team’s website, he said: ‘At no point should an athlete from another nation be insulted. The statement was rash, for which I sincerely and formally apologise.’

But that was not enough to stop the German Olympic team removing him from his official duties with the cycling team. Alfons Hörmann, President of Germany’s Olympic committee, said that although Moster’s apology was ‘sincere’, he had still violated the team’s values. ‘Fair play, respect and tolerance are non-negotiable for Team D,’ he said.

In the wake of Moster’s comments, Arndt sought to distance himself from the coach. ‘I am appalled by the incidents at today's Olympic time trial,’ he wrote on Twitter. ‘Such words are not acceptable.’

The Union Cycliste International (UCI), world cycling’s governing body, also released a statement. ‘[Moster’s] remark goes against the values the UCI represents, promotes and defends. There is no place for racism in sport, and the UCI continues its commitment to eradicating all forms of of discrimination from cycling and encouraging diversity and equality.’

Azzedine Lagab, an Algerian cyclist who was one of those Moster referred to with his ‘camel riders’ slur, tweeted about the incident. ‘Well, there is no camel race in Olympics, that’s why I came to cycling,’ he said. ‘At least I was there in #Tokyo2020.’ The tweet has since been liked more than seven thousand times.

He later followed that post up with another tweet, which said: ‘I’ve always wanted to promote myself as an athlete on social media, but never thought it would be that way! I had more aggressive racist comments before, but I’ve always preferred To deal with them on the spot, far from social media It’s such a shame it happens in the #olympics’.

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