German cycling official sent home after racial insult on Olympics television broadcast

The sporting director of the German cycling program was dismissed from his post and sent home a day after repeatedly shouting racial slurs during a televised time trial at the Olympics, the Olympic sports federation of Canada announced on Thursday. country.

Looking sideways at a German cyclist dragging two competitors from Algeria and Eritrea in a men’s time trial on Wednesday, director Patrick Moster could be heard on camera shouting ‘catch the camel drivers’ , according to an English translation by the newspaper. website Deutsche Welle.

The episode came a day after a Greek broadcaster cut ties with a commentator for a racist commentary on South Korean table tennis athletes, further undermining the themes of inclusion and goodwill that the organizers of the games are emphasizing.

It also followed the attacks on Naomi Osaka, who lit the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremony, but whose Japanese identity was openly questioned after her ousting from women’s tennis competition.

Mr Moster apologized for his derogatory reference to the two cyclists from African countries. They were Azzedine Lagab from Algeria and Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier from Eritrea.

“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,” he said. DPA., a German news agency. “I’m really sorry, I can only sincerely apologize. I didn’t want to discredit anyone. We have a lot of friends of North African origin. Like I said, I’m sorry.

Mr Moster’s exhortation drew many condemnations in Germany, in particular from Alfons Hörmann, president of the country’s Olympic sports federation.

Mr Hörmann said the federation accepted Mr Moster’s apologies as sincere, but his comments violated Olympic values. He said “fair play, respect and tolerance” were “non-negotiable”.

A representative of the International Olympic Committee, whose president, Thomas Bach, is German, said the organization welcomed the “rapid reaction” of the country’s Olympic sports federation. “Comments like these have no place at the Olympics,” the representative said in an email.

The Union Cycliste Internationale, the world cycling association, announced Thursday that its disciplinary commission had decided to suspend provisionally Mr. Moster, considering that his remarks were contrary to morality.

“The UCI condemns all forms of racist and discriminatory behavior and strives to ensure integrity, diversity and equality in cycling,” the organization said in a statement.

Team Africa Rising, a group seeking to promote cycling in Africa, requested the resignation of Mr Moster and said his explanation was “horrible”.

It was not immediately clear whether Mr Moster would eventually be allowed to continue in his role with the German cycling program.

Nikias Arndt, the German cyclist Mr Moster had shouted at when he used the insult, distanced himself from him on Twitter. He called Mr Moster’s comments appalling and said they were unacceptable.

Mr Lagab, the Algerian cyclist, took a sarcastic tone on Twitter.

“Well, there is no camel race at #olympics, that’s why I came to cycling,” he wrote. “At least I was there at # Tokyo2020.”

Moments after cameras picked up Mr Moster’s comments, Florian Nass, a German commentator, said he ran out of words and there was no room for this kind of behavior in the sport.

A day earlier ERT, a public broadcaster in Greece, said he ended his relationship with a commentator after making a racist comment about the eyes of a South Korean table tennis competitor.

At the start of the games, a South Korean broadcaster apologized for showing “inappropriate” photos alongside the countries during the opening ceremony. The images drew criticism from viewers, who said they were offensive or perpetuated stereotypes.

For Ukraine, broadcaster MBC released a photo of Chernobyl, reminding viewers of the nuclear disaster that occurred in 1986. When it was Malaysia’s turn in the Parade of Nations, MBC showed a chart with this country’s coronavirus vaccination rate, as well as its gross domestic product. And for Haiti, it showed scenes of violence in the streets.

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