German coach sent home and suspended after racist remarks at Olympic time trial

Patrick Moster has since apologised after his comments about Algerian and Eritrean riders

Azzedine Lagab riding for Algeria at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic individual time trial
(Image credit: Getty Images)

German coach Patrick Moster has been sent home from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games by his team, after making racist remarks during the men's time trial and has since been suspended by the UCI.

Moster shouted, "get those camel jockeys" to German rider Nikias Arndt, who had Algerian rider Azzedine Lagab and Eritrea's Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier in front of him.

After he apologised for his comments, the German team has sent Moster home with the coach later being suspended. 

>>> Five talking points from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic time trials

In a statement, the German Olympic Sports Confederation said: "The team leadership at the Olympic Games in Tokyo has decided that Patrick Moster cannot continue his work as national team leader of cycling and will return to Germany,"

There has been a lot of reaction to this incident with pro cyclists speaking out against the racist comments made.

Lagab tweeted his reaction after the race: "Well, there is no camel race in the Olympics. That’s why I came to cycling. At least I was there in Tokyo 2020."

His words were followed by a more serious sentiment: "I’ve always wanted to promote myself as an athlete on social media, but never thought it would be that way! I've had more aggressive racist comments before, but I’ve always preferred to deal with them on the spot, far from social media.

"It’s such a shame it happens in the Olympics."

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German sprinter Rick Zabel posted to Instagram saying: "Even if I'm not at the Olympic Games myself, I'm ashamed of the statements. Personally, I cannot understand that [German cycling] or [the IOC] 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."

The UCI added to their original statement condemning Moster's actions by suspending him. 

Cycling's governing body posted a press release that said: "The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that its Disciplinary Commission has decided to provisionally suspend the German National Olympic Committee’s cycling team Sport Director Patrick Moster following his inappropriate words during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 men’s individual time trial.

"Following the incident on Wednesday 28 July, the UCI Disciplinary Commission urgently examined the matter and considered that Mr Moster’s remarks were discriminatory and contrary to basic rules of decency, in violation of article 12.4.017 (d) of the UCI Regulations.

"This decision is without prejudice to the final decision of the UCI Disciplinary Commission or any action that may be taken by Mr Moster’s National Federation, the Bund Deutscher Radfahrer.

"The UCI condemns all forms of racist and discriminatory behaviour and strives to ensure integrity, diversity and equality in cycling."

Africa Rising Cycling, a campaign group that nurtures talent in competitive cycling across the continent, has called for the immediate resignation of Moster.

Moster's words were picked up by the TV cameras following Nikias Ardnt, one of the first riders to set off on the men's TT around the Fuji International Speedway on Wednesday (July 29). 

He later apologised, saying his made the comments "in the heat of the moment" and that he "used the wrong choice of words." 

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.