Algerian Cyclist Faces Racist Comments in Olympic Competition
Algerian cyclist Azzedine Lagab was subjected to racist comments during the cycling competition at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Algerian cyclist Azzedine Lagab was subjected to racist comments during the cycling race at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games as Patrick Moster, sporting director of the German Cycling Federation, was caught yelling at his cyclist: "Get the camel drivers!”
The remark was overheard during the broadcasting of the race on the German network "ARD".
In turn, commentator Florian Nass immediately countered: "That was the voice of Patrick Moster cheering, and I must be honest: If I understand what he was saying, it's a huge mistake. Words fail me." He went on to say, "Something like that has no place in sports.”
"Hol die Kameltreiber! Hol die Kameltreiber! Komm!"— Deutschlandfunk Sport (@DLF_Sport) July 28, 2021
Patrick Moster, Radsporttrainer des Bundes Deutscher Radfahrer, versucht Nikias Arndt beim Olympischen Zeitfahren anzufeuern. Vor Arndt fahren ein Algerier und ein Eritreer. #Tokyo2020 pic.twitter.com/UoDLVQWlWf
UCI statement concerning words of Sports Director, Patrick Moster. pic.twitter.com/1fTMdba265— UCI_media (@UCI_media) July 28, 2021
The German Olympic Sports Confederation declared that it supports the Olympic values of respect, fair play, and tolerance and that it will meet with Moster on this matter.
Moster apologized following the incident and stated, “In the heat of the moment and with the overall burden that we had, my choice of words was wrong.”
“I'm so sorry, I can only sincerely apologize. I did not want to discredit anyone. We have a lot of friends of North African descent. As I said, I'm sorry.” He added
Khair Eddine Barbari, President of the Algerian Cycling Federation, denounced the German coach's racist words, stressing that he had written to the International Cycling Federation and the Olympic Committee as well.
A statement published today, Thursday, through his Facebook account, said, “On my behalf and the behalf of the Algerian bike family, I declare my strong condemnation of the racist verbal assault, which our hero Azzedine Lagab was subjected to by the German director.”
He added, "Immediately after the incident, we contacted the Union Cycliste Internationale and the International Olympic Committee, highlighting to them the seriousness of the racist incident that has nothing to do with Olympic values."