Living under a false identity: Running icon Sir Mo Farah cleans up with life lies

Sir Mo Farah is not only an icon in Great Britain.

Living under a false identity: Running icon Sir Mo Farah cleans up with life lies

Sir Mo Farah is not only an icon in Great Britain. The four-time Olympic champion is one of the best and most successful long-distance runners of all time. In a BBC documentary, he is now reporting on his life's lie: a forced life under a false identity.

British long-distance runner Mohamed Farah has revealed for the first time in a BBC documentary that he is living under a fake name. "The truth is, I'm not who you think I am," the four-time Olympic track and field champion said in pre-release excerpts of the show, titled The Real Mo Farah.

The 39-year-old from Somalia stated that he was born Hussein Abdi Kahin in a region that has since become largely independent as Somaliland. Contrary to what he previously stated, Farah said his parents never lived in the UK.

Instead, his father died in the civil war and he was separated from his mother. At the age of nine, he was finally taken to the United Kingdom by a woman he did not know. The woman told him he would be able to live there with relatives. "I was brought to the UK illegally under the name of a child other than Mohamed Farah," he said.

In England, the woman tore up a document with the contact information of his relatives before his eyes and then kept him in a slave-like relationship as a minder for even younger children "in order to get anything to eat at all". After a few years he was allowed to attend a school where he confided in a teacher. So he later ended up in another Somali family.

Farah said the fact that he was now going public was inspired by his own children. "Family means everything to me and as a parent you teach your children to be honest. But I always felt that I always had this secret, never being able to be myself and tell what really happened." It is now important for him to be able to tell the truth, Farah continued.

The athlete knows nothing about the fate of the real Mohamed Farah. He hopes he is doing well, he added. A lawyer warns Farah in the documentary that he could lose his British citizenship as a result of the revelation. But according to the British news agency PA, the Home Office in London has already indicated that he has nothing to fear.

Farah has won four gold medals at Olympic Games and a further 14 medals at World and European Championships. He is the father of twin girls who were born in August 2012. The 39-year-old was knighted in 2017.

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