Sir Mo Farah has revealed he was illegally trafficked to the UK as a nine-year-old, telling the BBC he was flown over from Djibouti and that his real name is Hussein Abdi Kahin.
Sir Mo, 39, became a household name in the UK after winning gold at London 2012 in the 5,000m and 10,000m events.
The long-distance runner then became a double-double Olympic champion when defending both titles at Rio 2016, while he was knighted in the 2017 New Year Honours.
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Sir Mo had previously said he arrived in the UK from Somalia with his parents as a refugee, but in a BBC documentary to be shown on Wednesday called “The Real Mo Farah”, he says he was brought to the country illegally when just nine by a women he had never met – and told to use the name and documents of a child called Mohamed Farah, before being forced to work as a domestic servant.
"For years I just kept blocking it out," he said. "But you can only block it out for so long."
Sir Mo goes on to say his parents have never been to the UK. His mother and brothers live in the breakaway state of Somaliland, while his father was killed when Farah was aged four.
Speaking on the documentary, he said: "Most people know me as Mo Farah, but it's not my name, or it's not the reality.
"The real story is I was born in Somaliland, north of Somalia, as Hussein Abdi Kahin. Despite what I've said in the past, my parents never lived in the UK.
"When I was four, my dad was killed in the civil war. As a family we were torn apart.
"I was separated from my mother, and I was brought into the UK illegally under the name of another child called Mohamed Farah."
Recalling his experience of going through passport control in the UK under the guise of Mohamed Farah, he said: "I had all the contact details for my relative and once we got to her house, the lady took it off me and right in front of me ripped them up and put it in the bin and at that moment I knew I was in trouble."
According to Sky News, the Home Office will take no action against Sir Mo.
'The Real Mo Farah' will air at 6am on BBC iPlayer and 9pm on BBC One on 13 July.
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