German cycling director sent home over racial slur during Tokyo time trial
The German Cycling Federation’s sporting director has been sent home from the Tokyo Olympics after a microphone caught him shouting a racial slur during Wednesday’s men’s time trial.
Patrick Moster was heard telling his rider Nikias Arndt: “Get the camel drivers! Get the camel drivers! Come on!” as he tried to catch rivals from Algeria and Eritrea.
Although Moster later apologised, Team Germany announced on Thursday that he would be sent home, after a hearing when the comments and the consequences for the team were discussed.
“We remain convinced that his public apology for the racist remarks he made yesterday is sincere,” said Alfons Hörmann, the president of the German Olympic Sports Confederation and its Tokyo delegation leader. “With these comments, however, Mr Moster violated the Olympic values. Fair play, respect and tolerance are non-negotiable for Team Germany.”
Immediately after the remarks were made, the commentator on the German TV station ARD, Florian Nass, condemned them, adding: “Words fail me.”
The Algerian cyclist Azzedine Lagab, one of the riders Arndt was chasing, tweeted his response. “Well, There is no camel race in #olympics,. That’s why I came to cycling. At least I was there in #Tokyo2020.”
Arndt said he was appalled by the sporting director’s language and criticised his comments as unacceptable.
In an apology issued on Wednesday, Moster said: “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. I am extremely sorry and can only offer my sincere apologies.”
Hörmann has also faced his own criticism as head of the German Olympic team after being accused of overseeing a toxic workplace culture. An ethics panel recently recommended elections to choose a new president, after which Hörmann announced he would not run.