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'Get the Camel Drivers': German Cycling Boss Booted From Tokyo Olympics Over Racial Slur - Video

The Olympic Symbol is reinstalled after it was taken down for maintenance ahead of the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the Odaiba section Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Tokyo.
© AP Photo / Eugene Hoshiko

Well before their start, the Olympic Games in Tokyo faced a series of controversies. From public opposition to the sporting spectacle at home to "anti-sex" beds, to women athletes speaking against sexualisation of their attire to racist slurs, the Japanese capital has witnessed them all.

Another controversy has hit the quadrennial sports mega-event following the German Cycling Federation's sporting director Patrick Moster being sent home from Tokyo.

Team Germany's decision on Thursday to withdraw Moster from the Games came after he made a racist remark against a rider during the men's time trial event on Wednesday.

The incident was caught on camera before it went viral on various social media platforms.

In the video, Moster is seen shouting at his rider Nikias Arndt before telling him: "Get the camel drivers! Get the camel drivers! Come on!", as Arndt is attempting to move ahead of his opponents from Eritrea and Algeria.

While the cycling director apologised for his comments only a few hours later, the German Olympic Sports Confederation decided to send him home after it held a closed-door meeting in Tokyo.

During the hearing, the potential consequences of Moster's racist comments were discussed before Team Germany chose to pull him out of the Games.

"We remain convinced that his public apology for the racist remarks he made is sincere", Alfons Hörmann, the president of the German Olympic Sports Confederation said. "With these comments, however, Mr Moster violated the Olympic values. Fair play, respect, and tolerance are non-negotiable for Team Germany", he added.

Realising that his comments were in bad taste, Moster issued an apology on Wednesday after he was heavily criticised not only on social media, but by several Olympians, including Arndt and Algerian cyclist Azzedine Lagab.

"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", he said in his apology.  

As soon as Moster made the comments, Florian Nass, who was commentating on the event for German TV station ARD denounced him, adding: "Words fail me".

On the other hand, Algeria's Lagab took to Twitter to slam Moster for his choice of words.

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