Germany's Olympic federation is firing Patrick Moster as the sports director of its cycling program, after he was recorded using a racial slur during the men's time trial Wednesday. Moster is being sent home early from the Tokyo Olympics, German officials said.
TV cameras picked up Moster yelling a racial slur while cheering on German cyclist Nikias Arndt. At the time, Arndt was trying to catch rival riders from Algeria and Eritrea. Looking on, Moster shouted, "Get the camel drivers" several times, according to Deutsche Welle.
Moster apologized shortly after the incident, which was broadcast live on German television. Arndt immediately distanced himself from the remarks, saying he was "appalled" and that the slur did not reflect his — or the Olympics' — values.
Alfons Hörmann, president of the German Olympic Sports Confederation, or DOSB, said Thursday that while he believes Moster's apology is sincere, his words violated Olympic values of fair play, respect and tolerance. Those ideas, he added, are "not negotiable."
In his apology, Moster 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," according to a translation reported by Deutsche Welle. He added, "I am extremely sorry and can only offer my sincere apologies."
Algeria's Azzedine Lagab, one of the riders Arndt was chasing, said Thursday that he has "had more aggressive racist comments before." He added, " It's such a shame it happens in the Olympics."
As Moster's remarks made headlines, Lagab won praise for his initial response after the race.
"Well, There is no camel race in #olympics," he said, "that's why I came to cycling." He added, "At least I was there in #Tokyo2020."