As German cyclist Nikias Arndt chased down opponents from northern and eastern Africa during the men’s time trial in Tokyo on Wednesday, his coach arrived roadside with a motivational racial slur. Patrick Moster, sports director of the German Cycling Federation, ran after Arndt and urged him twice to “get the camel drivers,” apparently referring to cyclists Azzedine Lagab of Algeria and Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier of Eritrea, who were directly ahead of his charge.
Moster later attributed his slur to the “the heat of the moment and with the overall burden that we have here at the moment.” The International Cycling Federation condemned Moster’s remarks on Wednesday and issued a provisional suspension on Thursday. The German Olympic team was a little slower to act, announcing their decision to send Moster back home on Thursday after the International Olympic Committee applied some pressure, according to Reuters.
Arndt, who said he was “appalled” by his coach’s remark, finished in 19th with a time of 58:49.39, several minutes ahead of both slurred opponents. Fellow German cyclist Rick Zabel, who is not competing at the Tokyo Olympics, criticized both the German Olympic and cycling bodies for sluggish responses, and pointed out his sport’s hypocrisy in criticizing soccer for racist incidents while being so slow to stamp out its own.
Here’s what Lagab had to say in the aftermath:
Ghebreigzabhier, meanwhile, embraced the label on his flight home: