‘Get the CAMEL DRIVERS!’: Germany’s Olympic time trial cycling coach leaves commentators stunned as he roars at his rider to chase down rivals from Algeria and Eritrea… before a hasty apology claiming it was ‘a poor choice of words’
A German cycling coach has been forced to apologise after being captured on film urging one of his riders to ‘get the camel drivers’ as he chased opponents from Algeria and Eritrea.
Patrick Moster was filmed running behind Nikias Arndt at the Olympic time trial in Tokyo, with microphones clearly picking him up shouting ‘Hol die Kameltreiber! Hol die Kameltreiber’.
Azzedine Lagab (Algeria) and Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Eritrea) had gone out before the German competitor. On German television, ARD commentator Florian Nass was left stunned, branding the comments ‘totally wrong’. ‘Words fail me,’ he added.
A German coach has apologised and fears the sack after being heard yelling a racist slur
Patrick Moster was seen running behind Nikias Arndt, telling his rider to ‘get the camel drivers’
Azzedine Lagab of Algeria (pictured) and Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Eritrea) had gone out before the German competitor for the Olympics time trial on Wednesday
‘If I heard that correctly he said ‘get the camel drivers!’ Something like that has no place in sport. This is absolutely underground. Sorry, I can’t think of anything…that is unworthy.’
Moster later said: ‘In the heat of the moment and with the overall burden we have here at the moment, I have missed my choice of words. I am so sorry, I can only sincerely apologize. I didn’t want to disrespect anyone.’
Former cyclist Moster, 54, may now face an anxious wait to see if he holds onto his job.
The coach’s comment was immediately condemned by the commentator and he has apologised for his ‘poor choice of words’ slurred in ‘the heat of the moment’
President of the Germany Olympic Committee, Alfons Hormann, appeared to take a dim view of the coach’s comments. ‘Team Germany stands for adherence to the Olympic values of respect, fair play and tolerance and lives them in all of their sporting competitions,’ he said.
‘It is important that Patrick Moster apologized immediately after the competition. We will seek a personal conversation with him today and deal with the situation,’ Hörman, 50, continued.
Meanwhile, Geraint Thomas claimed that people had ‘stuck the knife in’ after he finished in a disappointing 12th in the time trial, which was won by Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic.
The Team GB rider, who is yet to renew his contract with Ineos Grenadiers, has suffered a challenging time after crashes put him ruined the weekend’s road race and the Tour de France.
Elsewhere, Geraint Thomas finished in a lowly 12th place after a dismal week in Japan
‘It’s just been a really hard five weeks,’ he said. ‘It’s been one thing after the next. A few people always love to stick the knife in as well when it’s not going great. You just try and stay strong, keep going, keep putting your hat in the ring. It didn’t really work this time, maybe next year.’
Reacting to the comments on Eurosport, Sir Bradley Wiggins suggested the Welshman was referring to ‘some other stuff going on behind the scenes’.
‘We can only guess and speculate what those things are,’ added Wiggins. ‘Geraint is a great athlete. He needs a break now. I don’t think he was referring to journalists there.’
Wiggins added that Thomas, a former Tour winner, would not be short of options should he leave Ineos. Elsewhere in the race, Tao Geoghegan Hart finished 29th.