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Cycling official sent home after racist remarks

July 29, 2021

Germany cycling sports director Patrick Moster has been sent home after shouting out racist remarks during the men's road time trial at the Tokyo Olympics. He apologized after television cameras picked up his comments.

German cycling sporting director Patrick Moster shouted racist remarks during the cycling time trial
German cycling sporting director Patrick Moster shouted racist remarks during the cycling time trialImage: Sebastian Gollnow/dpa/picture alliance

Germany's Olympic Federation (DOSB) has sent cycling sports director Patrick Moster home over his racist comments during Wednesday's cycling time trial.

Moster, 54, was caught on camera screaming racist remarks as Germany's Nikias Arndt was chasing down two African cyclists during the event. The cycling coach later apologized for the comments, saying he was caught "in the heat of the moment."

The DOSB said that though Moster's apology was sincere, he "violated Olympic values" with the comment.

"Fair play, respect and tolerance are not negotiable for Team Germany," the DOSB said in a statement.

What did Moster say?

As Arndt chased down his opponents during the men's road time trial, Moster was shouting out words of encouragement. Yet his encouragement turned unsavory as he screamed, "Get the camel drivers!" multiple times. 

Arndt was attempting to make ground on Algeria's Azzedine Lagab and Eritrea's Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier.

The vision and audio were broadcast on live television, with ARD commentator Florian Nass left gobsmacked as he reacted: "If I've really understood what he was shouting, that was totally wrong."

"Words fail me," Nass added. "Something like that has no place in sport."

What was Moster's apology?

Moster, sporting director of the German cycling federation (BDR), has since been forced to apologize.

"In the heat of the moment and with the overall burden that we have here at the moment, my choice of words was not appropriate," he told German news agency DPA.

"I am extremely sorry and can only offer my sincere apologies. I didn't want to offend anyone."

Nikias Arndt riding at the Olympics
Arndt finished 19th in the time trialImage: Roth/picture alliance

Fierce backlash

BDR President Rudolf Scharping said the comments were "unacceptable," while German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) president Alfons Hörmann said the organization stood for "respect, fair play and tolerance."

Arndt, who finished 19th in the time trial, distanced himself from the comments via social media, saying he was "appalled" by the incident.

"Such words are not acceptable," he wrote.

"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."

jcs/dv (AP, Reuters, SID)

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