The German Olympic cycling coach caught by a TV microphone yesterday urging one of his riders during yesterday’s individual time trial at the Fuji Speedway to “catch the camel drivers” – a reference to cyclists from Eritrea and Algeria – has been sent home.
Patrick Moster, aged 54, shouted the words at Nikias Arndt as the rider went through a feed zone, with Azzedine Lagab of Algeria and Eritrea’s Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier having passed through moments before.
Al-Jazeera reports that today, the president of Germany’s national Olympic committee, Alfons Hoermann, said: “Mr Moster violated the Olympic values.
“Fair play, respect and tolerance are not negotiable for Team Germany,” he added.
Eight-time Algerian national time trial champion Lagab, who finished 36th out of the 39 riders and made his Olympic debut in the road race at London 2012 said on Twitter: “Well, There is no camel race in #olympics that’s why I came to cycling. At least I was there in Tokyo2020.”
Yesterday, Moster insisted that he had “made a wrong choice of words.”
He added: “I am so sorry, I can only sincerely apologise. I didn’t want to discredit anyone.”
Arndt condemned the coach’s comments, saying: “I am 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 per cent and take my hat off to all the great athletes who have come from all over the world here in Tokyo,” he added.
World cycling’s governing body, the UCI, has also said that it “deeply regrets” Moster’s words, without specifying what sanctions the coach may face.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.