Olympics-Cycling-German official apologises over racist remark caught on camera

OYAMA TOWN, Japan (Reuters) -The sporting director of the German cycling federation (BDR) has apologised after he was caught on camera making racist remarks during Wednesday’s men’s Olympic road time trial.

“Get the camel drivers, get the camel drivers, come on,” Patrick Moster said as he urged on his rider Nikias Arndt, who was chasing opponents Algeria’s Azzedine Lagab and Eritrea’s Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier.

Arndt said Moster’s comments were unacceptable.

“I am appalled by what happened in today’s Olympic road time trial,” Arndt said on social media. “I would like hereby to clearly distance myself from the comments of the sports director. Such words are not acceptable.

“The Olympics and cycling stand for tolerance, respect and fairness.”

On German TV broadcaster ARD, commentator Florian Nass was left stunned, describing the comments as “totally wrong”. “Words fail me,” he said. “Something like that has no place in sport.”

Moster has since apologised for his comments, which he said were made in the “heat of the moment”.

“I was in the feed zone and cheered on Nikias Arndt,” he told German DPA news agency.

“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. I am extremely sorry and can only offer my sincere apologies. I didn’t want to offend anyone.”

Germany’s Olympic Committee (DOSB) did not respond to a request for comment.

Arndt finished the time trial in 19th place, three minutes and 45 seconds behind Slovenia’s gold medallist Primoz Roglic.

Reporting by Karolos Grohmann in Tokyo and Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru;Editing by Christian Radnedge and John Stonestreet