German cycling coach who told his rider to ‘get the CAMEL DRIVERS’ as he chased Algerian and Eritrean rivals faces calls to act
German cycling coach Patrick Moster faced calls to resign a day after he apologized for using racist language to describe rival athletes at the Fuji Olympic time trial.
Moster was caught on camera urging German rider Nikias Arndt to ‘catch the camel drivers’ as he rode on the road behind Eritrea’s Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier and Algeria’s Azzedine Lagab.
The comments were clearly audible on the German broadcaster ARD’s broadcast of the race on Wednesday, with microphones clearly picking him up and saying ‘Hol die Kameltreiber! Hollow the Kameltreiber’.
German cycling coach Patrick Moster faced calls to resign for a day after using racist language
Moster was seen running after Nikias Arndt, telling his rider to ‘get the camel drivers’
Former rider Moster, who has been sports director with the German squad since 2012, apologized afterwards, stating: “In the heat of the battle and with the overall burden we have here at the moment, I missed my choice of words. I’m so sorry, I can only sincerely apologize. I didn’t mean to despise anyone.’
But Team Africa Rising, an organization that aims to develop cycling across Africa and create a number of professional teams on the continent, has released a statement saying that Moster must step down from his post.
In a tweet, the organization wrote: “We call for the immediate and unconditional resignation of @PatrickMoster @GermanyCycling. This is completely unacceptable and an apology is not enough.”
German cyclist Rick Zabel, who is not participating in the Olympics, posted on Instagram condemning Moster’s language and asked why nothing had been done yet.
Azzedine Lagab from Algeria (photo) and Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Eritrea) had left for the German participant on Wednesday for the Olympic time trial.
“Even if I’m not at the Olympics myself, I’m ashamed of the statements,” Zabel wrote.
“Personally, I cannot understand why 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.”
On German television, ARD commentator Florian Nass was stunned and labeled the comments as ‘completely wrong’. “Words fail me,” he added.
The German Olympic Federation said it would talk to the 54-year-old about the incident, although it is not yet known whether he will take further steps.
“Team Germany stands for adhering to the Olympic values of respect, fair play and tolerance and lives them in all their sports competitions,” said Alfons Hormann, President of the Olympic Committee of Germany.
It is important that Patrick Moster apologized immediately after the game. We will seek a personal meeting with him today and deal with the situation.”
Lagab tweeted his own response to the derogatory language used to describe him, writing on Twitter: “Well, there’s no camel race in #olympics, that’s why I came to cycling. At least I was there in #Tokyo2020′.
Arndt also posted a message condemning his coach’s words.
“I am shocked by the incidents during today’s Olympic time trial and I want to clearly distance myself from the statements of the sporting director!” wrote the 29-year-old. ‘Such words are not acceptable.
“The Olympics and cycling represent tolerance, respect and fairness. I represent these values 100% and take my hat off to all the great athletes who have come here in Tokyo from all over the world!’
On Wednesday evening, the world governing body of cycling, the UCI, released a statement saying it “deeply regrets” Moster’s words, although it did not indicate whether it would take any action itself.