Olympics-German cycling sports director sent home after racist remarks

Cycling team leader had called some cyclists 'camel drivers'

  
Tokyo 2020 Olympics Preview - Tokyo, Japan - July 20, 2021 A child sits on the Olympic Rings outside The National Stadium, the main venue of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics Preview - Tokyo, Japan - July 20, 2021 A child sits on the Olympic Rings outside The National Stadium, the main venue of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO  - The sporting director of the German cycling federation has been told to return home from the Tokyo Olympics after making racist remarks during Wednesday's men's Olympic road time trial, the German team said on Thursday.

"The team leadership at the Olympic Games in Tokyo has decided that Patrick Moster cannot continue his work as national team leader Cycling and will return to Germany," the team said in a statement.

Moster had made the remarks during the road time trial event as he tried to urge on one of Germany's cyclists.

"Get the camel drivers, get the camel drivers, come on," he was heard shouting at Nikias Arndt, who was chasing opponents Algeria's Azzedine Lagab and Eritrea's Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier.

Moster apologised later blaming his remarks on 'the heat of the moment' and said he was not a racist.

His apology was welcomed by the German Olympic Committee (DOSB) but it said it was no longer possible to keep him in Tokyo after his comments caused a major furore at the Games as well as back home. The international cycling federation (UCI) had also condemned his comments on Wednesday.

"We continue to be convinced that his public apology yesterday following his racist remarks was genuine," DOSB President Alfons Hoermann said. "But with his lapse Mr Moster went against the Olympic values. Fair play, respect and tolerance are non-negotiable for Team D."

On German TV broadcaster ARD, commentator Florian Nass was left stunned, describing the comments as "totally wrong".

"Words fail me," he said. "Something like that has no place in sport."

Arndt, who finished the time trial in 19th place, had said he had been appalled by his sports director's "unacceptable" comments.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Muralikumar Anantharaman) ((karolos.grohmann@thomsonreuters.com; +491743343192;))


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