The sporting director of the German Cycling Union has apologized after being heard yelling “get the camel drivers!” at one of his team in an effort to encourage him to catch rivals from Algeria and Eritrea.
Patrick Moster was heard shouting the remarks at rider Nikias Arndt during the men’s individual time trial event in Tokyo on Wednesday.
The broadcast clearly picked up Moster repeating the words ‘Hol die Kameltreiber!’ (catch the camel drivers!) as he chased after Arndt, who had Azzedine Lagab of Algeria and Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier of Eritrea in front of him.
Beim Einzelzeitfahren war eine rassistische „Anfeuerung“ vom deutschen Leistungssportdirektor Patrick #Moster zu hören. Er rief Nikias Arndt „Hol die Kameltreiber!“ zu, vor ihm fuhren ein Eritreer und ein Algerier. Gut von Florian Naß, das sofort zu kritisieren. #OlympischeSpielepic.twitter.com/Lw3u0ruIpq
— Maximilian Rieger (@mjrieger) July 28, 2021
The embarrassed German broadcasters apologized, and Moster later issued a statement of his own.
“In the heat of the moment and with the overall burden we have here at the moment, I have missed my choice of words. I am so sorry, I can only sincerely apologize. I didn’t want to disrespect anyone,” said the 54-year-old former cyclist.
Arndt, who ended up finishing 19th, poured scorn on the cycling official from his team.
“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,” Arndt tweeted.
“The Olympics and cycling stand for tolerance, respect and fairness. I represent these values 100% and take my hat off to all the great athletes who have come from all over the world here in Tokyo!”
Olympia und der Radsport stehen für Toleranz, Respekt und Fairness. Diese Werte vertrete ich zu 100% und ziehe meinen Hut vor all den großartigen Sportlern, die hier in Tokio aus aller Welt zusammen gekommen sind! #united
— Nikias Arndt (@NikiasArndt) July 28, 2021
But that might not be the end of the matter, with President of the Germany Olympic Committee, Alfons Hormann, expressing his dissatisfaction.
“It is important that Patrick Moster apologized immediately after the competition. We will seek a personal conversation with him today and deal with the situation,” said Horman.
Wednesday’s event was won by Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic, who finished over a minute ahead of Dutchman Tom Mumoulin and Rohan Dennis of Australia.