A German cycling leader was suspended and sent back to his country after uttering a racist insult during the men’s time trial at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Patrick Moster, sports director of the German Cycling Federation, supervised the cycling team at the Tokyo Games. He used the offensive term on Wednesday as he urged compatriot Nikias Arndt to catch up with rivals Algeria and Eritrea during the time trial.
The insult was heard on the television broadcast and led to convictions in Germany.
Moster later apologized. Originally, the German team indicated that the manager would remain in Tokyo, but on Thursday he informed that he would send him home.
Alfons Hörmann, president of the German Olympic Committee, considered Moster’s apology “sincere”, but stressed that the insult had “undermined Olympic values.”
“Fair play, respect and tolerance are non-negotiable values” for the German delegation, Hörmann stressed.
Nikias Arndt, the German cyclist who was encouraged by Moster. Photo: Anne-Christine Poujoulat / AFP / dpa.
The International Olympic Committee, whose chairman Thomas Bach is German, praised the decision to send Moster back to his nation. He added that he had “investigated the matter” together with the German delegation, before the decision was announced.
“We appreciate the quick reaction so that he did not continue in his role and to ask him to leave Tokyo and return to Germany. Comments like these have no place in the Olympic Games,” the IOC said.
The International Cycling Union (UCI) later reported that it had provisionally suspended Moster, pending a hearing.
The German cyclist Nikias Arndt distanced himself from Moster’s sayings.
“The UCI Disciplinary Commission urgently examined the matter and considered that Mr. Moster’s statements were discriminatory and contrary to the basic rules of decency,” said the governing body of cycling. “The UCI condemns all forms of racist and discriminatory conduct and strives to ensure integrity, diversity and fairness in cycling. ”
“I am dismayed by the incidents of the Olympic time trial today and I would like to clearly distance myself from the statements of the sporting director! Such words are not acceptable,” clarified Nikias Arndt, the German cyclist who was “encouraged” by Moster.
The insult that condemned Moster
“Reach out to the camel drivers!” The leader screamed contemptuously, encouraging his cyclist, Nikias Arndt, in reference to Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier and Azzedine Lagab, Eritrean and Algerian respectively.
His words were heard on the German television broadcast, generating a cataract of messages in repudiation of Moster’s sayings. The repercussion was so great that he was forced to apologize.
“In the heat of the competition and with the stress that we have at the moment, I did not know how to choose my words well at that time. I am sorry and I can only apologize, I have not wanted to offend anyone. We have many acquaintances with roots in North Africa, “he commented before leaving Japan.