Nikias Arndt racing the men’s time trial at the Tokyo Olympics.
German cycling coach Patrick Moster apologized on Wednesday after shouting “catch the camel riders” at Nikias Arndt while the German was in the middle of his effort in the men’s time trial at the Tokyo Olympics with riders from Eritrea, Algeria, Iran, and Syria up the road.
Moster was standing in the feed zone and made the remarks to Arndt as he passed by, shortly after Azzedine Lagab (Algeria) and Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Eritrea) had come through. The shouted words could be heard on the television broadcast.
After finishing, Arndt condemned Moster’s remarks.
“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 said on Twitter.
“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!”
Speaking to news agency DPA shortly after the race, Moster ultimately apologized for what he had said.
“In the heat of the moment and with the overall burden that we have here at the moment, my choice of words was not appropriate,” Moster later said, according to the DPA news agency.
“I am extremely sorry and can only offer my sincere apologies. I didn’t want to offend anyone.”
Lagab also addressed the incident with a tweet.
— Azzedine Lagab (@AzzedineLagab) July 28, 2021
Later on Wednesday, the UCI published a short statement on social media.
“The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) deeply regrets the words of German sport director Patrick Moster during the men’s individual time trial at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 today,” read the statement. “This remark goes against the values the UCI represents, promotes, and defends. There is no place for racism in sport, and the UCI continues its commitment to eradicating all forms of discrimination from cycling and encouraging diversity and equality.”
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