German cycling coach Patrick Moster has been sent home from the Tokyo Olympics after using racist language to describe rival athletes during the men's individual time trial in Fuji on Wednesday.
Moster was caught on camera urging German rider Nikias Arndt to "catch the camel drivers" as he rode behind Eritrea's Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier and Algeria's Azzedine Lagab on the road, with the comments clearly audible on German station ARD's broadcast of the race on Wednesday.
Former rider Moster apologised afterwards but there had been criticism that he did not immediately face stronger punishment, with the German Olympic Federation on Wednesday saying only that it would speak to the 54-year-old about the incident.
The disciplinary action instead came a day later, with an announcement that Moster would leave the Games and return home.
In a statement, Germany Olympic Federation president Alfons Hormann said: "We remain convinced that his public apology for the racist remarks he made yesterday is sincere. But with this incident, Mr Moster violated the Olympic values.
"Fair play, respect and tolerance are non-negotiable for Team Germany."
Thank you for sharing. We call for the immediate and unconditional resignation of #PatrickMoster #GermanyCycling This is completely unacceptable and an apology is not enough #SayNoToRacism #KickRacismOut #TokyoOlympics #Tokyo2020
— Africa Rising Cycling (@CyclingAfrica) July 28, 2021
Moster, who has been in his post as sports director with the cycling team since 2012, has faced calls to resign following the incident.
Prior to the news that Moster was being sent home, German cyclist Rick Zabel - who is not competing at the Olympics - posted on Instagram to condemn Moster's language while asking why nothing more had yet been done.
"Even if I'm not at the Olympic Games myself, I'm ashamed of the statements," Zabel wrote.
"Personally, I cannot understand that the (German cycling federation) or (Olympic federation) did not take immediate action after this behaviour.
"If you want to represent Olympic values and anti-racism campaigns in a credible way, such an incident should not be tolerated."
Team Africa Rising, an organisation which is seeking to develop cycling across Africa and create a number of professional teams based on the continent, issued a statement saying that Moster must leave his post.
In a tweet, the organisation wrote: "We call for the immediate and unconditional resignation of [Patrick Moster] ... This is completely unacceptable and an apology is not enough".
— Azzedine Lagab (@AzzedineLagab) July 28, 2021
Lagab tweeted his own response to the derogatory language used to describe him, writing on Twitter: "Well, there is no camel race in [Olympics] that's why I came to cycling. At least I was there in [Tokyo 2020]".
Arndt also posted to condemn the words used by his coach.
"I am appalled by the incidents at today's Olympic time trial and would like to distance myself clearly from the statements of the sporting director!" the 29-year-old wrote. "Such words are not acceptable.
"The Olympics and cycling stand for tolerance, respect and fairness. I represent these values 100% and take my hat off to all the great athletes who have come from all over the world here in Tokyo!"
On Wednesday night, cycling's world governing body the UCI issued a statement saying it "deeply regrets" Moster's words, though it did not indicate if it would seek to take action of its own.