Tokyo Olympics: German coach condemned for racist comments during men’s time trial

German coach Patrick Moster was caught by television cameras shouting racist comments from the side of the time trial course.

Photo: Greg Baker/AFP via Getty Images

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Riders, the German cycling federation, and the UCI have condemned German cycling coach Patrick Moster for shouting racist language during the men’s Olympic time trial Wednesday.

Moster was heard on camera shouting “get the camel riders” in German as he ran along the road behind Nikias Arndt. The German rider was chasing Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier of Eritrea and Azzedine Lagab of Algeria, who had set off ahead of him in the time trial.

Lagab made a short comment on Twitter after the incident, saying: “Well, there is no camel race in Olympics that’s why I came to cycling. At least I was there in Tokyo 2020.”

The German federation and Arndt were quick to condemn Moster’s comments, though the federation did not say whether or not he would face any further action.

“[The team] stands for compliance with the Olympic values of respect, fair play and tolerance and lives them in all of their sporting competitions,” German federation president, Alfons Hörmann said.

“It is important that Patrick Moster apologized immediately after the competition. We will seek a personal conversation with him today and work through the situation.”

Arndt wrote on Twitter that he was “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 percent and take my hat off to all the great athletes who have come from all over the world here in Tokyo.”

The UCI issued a statement on it later Wednesday, saying that his comments had no place within cycling.

“The Union Cyclist Internationale (UCI) deeply regrets the words of German sport director Patrick Moster during the men’s individual time trial at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 today,” the statement said. “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.”

Moster has since apologized for his comments, which have been widely condemned.

“I was cheering on Nikias Arndt. In the heat of the moment and with the overall burden that we have here at the moment, I have used the wrong choice of words. I am so sorry, I can only sincerely apologize. I didn’t want to upset anyone,” Moster said.

“I am in no way against foreign competitors with racist intent or the like… I appreciate and respect the achievements that are brought about by all athletes here.”

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