Olympics: German cycling director sent home after racist remarks

The sports director of the German Cycling Union, Patrick Moster, has been sent home from the Tokyo Olympics, the German Olympic Committee (DOSB) said on Thursday. Moster was caught making racist comments during the mens road time trial race in Fuji on Wednesday.

Moster’s words of encouragement took an unsavoury turn when Germany’s Nikias Arndt was trying to chase down Algeria’s Azzedine Lagab and Eritrea’s Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier. He was heard shouting ‘Hol die Kameltreiber’, which translates to ‘go catch the camel riders’.

Although the 54-year-old apologised later amid huge uproar on social media, the DOSB announced that he would be sent home following a hearing where the comments and its consequences were discussed.

“We remain convinced that his public apology for the racist remarks he made yesterday is sincere. With this derailment, however, Mr. Moster violated the Olympic values. Fair play, respect and tolerance are non-negotiable for Team Germany,” said DOSB President and Tokyo delegation leader Alfons Hörmann in a statement.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) issued a statement on Wednesday evening, saying it “deeply regrets” the words used by Moster.

“This 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 discrimination from cycling and encouraging diversity and equality.”

Lagab, the Algerian cyclist, tweeted his response to the derogatory language used to describe him. “Well, There is no camel race in #olympics that’s why I came to cycling. At least I was there in #Tokyo2020,”.

Arndt, who finished 19th in the time trial, took to social media to condemn the words used by his coach.

“I am appalled by the incidents at today’s Olympic time trial and would like to distance myself clearly from the statements of the sporting director! Such words are not acceptable. The Olympics and cycling stand for tolerance, respect and fairness. I represent these values 100% and take my hat off to all the great athletes who have come from all over the world here in Tokyo!” the 29-year-old wrote on Twitter.