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Olympics: German coach sent home from Tokyo over racist slur

Germanys flag bearer Patrick Hausding L leads the delegation as they parade during the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on July 23 2021 Photo by Andrej ISAKOVIC AFP Photo by ANDREJ ISAKOVICAFP via Getty Images
The German delegation at the Olympic opening ceremony (Image credit: Getty Images)

The German coach who referred to African and Middle Eastern riders as 'camel drivers' has now been sent home from the Tokyo Olympics in punishment. 

Patrick Moster publicly apologised for the remarks made during Wednesday's time trial event, and he was called in to explain himself to Germany Olympic federation chiefs. 

On Thursday morning, the federation issued a statement to announce that Moster, who had been due to coach the German team on the track, will take no further part in these Games and will soon be on a flight home.

"The delegation management of Team D at the Olympic Games in Tokyo decided on Thursday that Patrick Moster will no longer perform his duties as part of the cycling team in Team D and will leave for Germany in the near future," read the statement.

"This decision was preceded by a detailed consultation of the delegation management and a renewed hearing of the person concerned, in which both the process and the consequences for Team D were discussed."

Moster was heard on live broadcast of Wednesday's time trial shouting 'Hol die Kameltreiber', which translates as 'go catch the camel drivers'. He shouted it twice as Arndt rode past the feed zone.

He was out on course offering encouragement to German rider Nikias Arndt, who had set off behind Eritrea's Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier, Algeria's Azzedine Lagab, Iran's Saeid Safarzadeh, and the Refugee Olympic Team's Ahmad Badreddin Wais.

Moster soon apologised, saying that his words were made "in the heat of the moment” but were "wrong". 

"We remain convinced that his public apology for the racist remarks he made yesterday is sincere," said Alfons Hörmann, the head of the German Olympic federation.

"With this derailment, however, Mr. Moster violated the Olympic values. Fair play, respect and tolerance are non-negotiable for Team D."

The incident has sparked a number of reactions, with the UCI issuing a short statement to condemn Moster's comments, while Arndt fully distanced himself from them. 

Lagab himself took to social media to issue a tongue-in-cheek but defiant response.

"Well, There is no camel race in the Olympics, that’s why I came to cycling," he wrote. "At least I was there in Tokyo."

Badreddin Wais added: "Unfortunately, such things still exist today!"