German cycling coach Patrick Moster has been sent home from the Olympics for using racist language while encouraging one of his team’s riders during an event.
He was addressing cyclist Nikias Arndt at the time, urging him to catch up to Eritrean rider Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier and Algeria’s Azzedine Lagab, however, his choice of language left many disgusted and prompted Moster to formally apologise for his words.
The ARD broadcast heard Moster say something along the lines of ‘catch the camel drivers’, with Florian Nass, commentator of the race for ARD, saying: ‘If I heard that correctly he said ‘get the camel drivers!’ Something like that has no place in sport.’
The German Olympic Federation stated it would address Moster about the incident, however, critics argued he should have immediately faced stronger punishment or should resign from his post as sports director with the cycling team, which he has held since 2012.
Today, July 29, Germany Olympic Federation president Alfons Hormann announced that Moster would be sent home from the Games as a result of his language.
In a statement cited by the Metro, Hormann said:
We remain convinced that his public apology for the racist remarks he made yesterday is sincere. But with this incident, Mr Moster violated the Olympic values. Fair play, respect and tolerance are non-negotiable for Team Germany.
German cyclist Rick Zabel, who is not taking part in the Olympics, was among those condemning the lack of action ahead of Hormann’s announcement today, writing on Instagram he was ‘ashamed’ of Moster’s words.
He wrote (translated): ‘Personally, I cannot understand that the (German cycling federation) or (Olympic federation) did not take immediate action after this behaviour. If you want to represent Olympic values […] and anti-racism campaigns in a credible way, such an incident should not be tolerated.’
In his apology, Moster claimed he said the words ‘in the heat of the moment’ and that his choice of words ‘was wrong’, adding: ‘I am sorry, I’m so sorry, I can only sincerely apologise. I didn’t mean to discredit anyone.’
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), cycling’s world governing body, said it ‘deeply regrets’ Moster’s use of language, though it has not indicated whether it will take its own action against the coach.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
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