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GERMAN cycling coach Patrick Moster has been sent home from the Tokyo Olympics and provisionally suspended after using racist language to describe rival athletes during the men’s individual time trial in Fuji on Wednesday.
Moster was caught on camera urging German rider Nikias Arndt to “catch the camel drivers” as he rode behind Eritrea’s Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier and Algeria’s Azzedine Lagab on the road, with the comments clearly audible on German station ARD’s broadcast of the race.
Moster apologised for his language after the competition but there were widespread calls for further action, which began to follow a day later.
The German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB) announced that Moster had been sent home from Japan, before cycling’s world governing body the UCI imposed a provisional suspension on the 54-year-old.
In a statement, the DOSB president Alfons 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.”
A statement from the UCI said: “The UCI condemns all forms of racist and discriminatory behaviour and strives to ensure integrity, diversity and equality in cycling.”
Moster, who has been in his post as sports director with the cycling team since 2012, has faced calls to resign following the incident.
Prior to the news that Moster was being sent home, German cyclist Rick Zabel — who is not competing at the Olympics — posted on Instagram to condemn the coach’s language while asking why nothing more had yet been done.
“Even if I’m not at the Olympic Games myself, I’m ashamed of the statements,” Zabel wrote.
“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.”
Team Africa Rising, an organisation which is seeking to develop cycling across Africa and create a number of professional teams based on the continent, issued a statement saying that Moster must leave his post.
In a tweet, the organisation wrote: “We call for the immediate and unconditional resignation of #PatrickMoster #GermanyCycling. This is completely unacceptable and an apology is not enough.”
Lagab tweeted his own response to the derogatory language used to describe him, writing on Twitter: “Well, there is no camel race in #olympics that’s why I came to cycling. At least I was there in #Tokyo2020.”
Arndt also posted to condemn the words used by his coach.
“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,” the 29-year-old wrote. “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!”
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