British long-distance runner Mohamed Farah has revealed for the first time in a BBC documentary that he lives under an assumed name. The four-time Olympic champion said in pre-released excerpts of the show, titled “The Real Mo Farah”.
The 39-year-old, who is from Somalia, said he was born Hussein Abdi Kahin in a region that has since largely become independent as Somaliland. Contrary to what he had previously portrayed, his parents had never lived in Britain, Farah said.
Instead, he said, his father was killed in the civil war and he was separated from his mother. He eventually travelled to the UK as a nine-year-old. “I was brought to the UK illegally under another child’s name as Mohamed Farah,” the top athlete said.
The fact that he is now going public was inspired by his own children, Farah revealed. It is now important for him to be able to tell the truth, Farah added.
The athlete knows nothing about the fate of the real Mohamed Farah. He hopes he is well, he added.
A lawyer warns Farah in the documentary that he could possibly 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. The Sun quoted a spokesman on Tuesday as saying: “No action is being taken against Sir Mo. To suggest otherwise is wrong.”