A German cycling coach has apologised for using racist language while encouraging a rider at the men’s Olympic time trial in Fuji.
German sports director Patrick Moster was filmed by German station ARD urging Nikias Arndt to try to catch Eritrean rider Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier and Algeria’s Azzedine Lagab on the road. However, the language he used while being filmed disgusted many.
The commentator of the race for ARD, Florian Nass, described the incident as ‘totally wrong’, stating ‘words fail me.’
Nass clarified what he believed was said:
If I heard that correctly he said ‘get the camel drivers!’ Something like that has no place in sport. This is absolutely underground. Sorry, I can’t think of anything…that is unworthy.
54-year-old Moster, who is a former professional cyclist, apologised for his words he claimed were said ‘in the heat of the moment’, ‘I was in the feed zone and cheered on Nikias Arndt. In the heat of the moment and with the overall burden that we have here at the moment, my choice of words was wrong. I am sorry, I’m so sorry, I can only sincerely apologise. I didn’t mean to discredit anyone.’
Moster reportedly tried to visit the Algerian team and apologise after the race, but the team had already dispersed.
In response to the footage, the German Olympic Federation stated:
Team Germany represents Olympic values like respect, fair play and tolerance throughout the competitions and beyond.
It is important that Moster apologised while the race was still on. Nonetheless, we will discuss the matter with him directly.
Arndt finished the time trial in 19th place, three minutes and 45 seconds behind Slovenia’s gold medallist Primoz Roglic. Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands took silver and Australia’s Rohan Dennis collected bronze.
Team GB also missed out on a medal position with Geraint Thomas finishing in 12th.
Discussing the finish, Thomas said:
It’s just been a really hard five weeks. It’s been one thing after the next. A few people always love to stick the knife in as well when it’s not going great.
You just try and stay strong, keep going, keep putting your hat in the ring. It didn’t really work this time, maybe next year.
Thomas had previously been in a bicycle crash in the men’s road race and was forced to pull out of the race.
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