Mo Farah has sensationally revealed that he was trafficked into Britain and spent his early years here in domestic servitude.
The Olympic champion completely overturns the already extraordinary story of his life in a BBC documentary, The Real Mo Farah, which might be broadcast tomorrow night.
Removed from him coming to the UK to live along with his father, his father was in truth dead – a victim of the civil war in his native Somalia.
And, incredibly, Mo Farah isn’t even his real name.
The unique back story was that he arrived in Britain as an eight-year-old and lived with an aunt and uncle because his father showed little interest in him.
Equipped with just three English phrases – ‘Excuse me’, ‘Where is the bathroom?’ and ‘C’mon then’ – he was enrolled in a troublesome junior school within the predominantly white area of Feltham, west London, where his refusal to be cowed meant he was endlessly entering into fights.
His troubled upbringing was splashed across the papers after he achieved a golden double – within the 5,000 and 10,000 metres – on the 2012 Games in London.
However it was removed from the total story. Yes, Sir Mo Farah, as he’s today, was born in wartorn Somalia. But almost the whole lot else about his youth is fiction.
Most sensational of all is the bombshell that the young Mo didn’t come to this country legally.
As a substitute, he was ‘trafficked’ into Britain and spent years in domestic servitude, forced to be a skivvy for the family of the lady who brought him here.
The Olympic champion pictured with wife Tania after being honoured at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in November 2017
An undated picture of Mo Farah as a young boy in Somaliland before being trafficked into Britain, where he spent his early years in domestic servitude
Sir Mo Farah holding up an image of himself as a toddler through the filming of the BBC documentary The Real Mo Farah, which airs on Wednesday night
Mo Farah says he was trafficked into UK and spent years in domestic servitude. Pictured: Sir Mo along with his mother Aisha during filming
Mo Farah, the actual Mo Farah, talking to Olympic runner Mo Farah whose real name is Hussein Abdi Kahin during filming for the documentary
A childhood photograph of Sir Mo Farah competing within the Southern Counties Cross Championships in 1998
Sir Mo Farah holds a union jack aloft as he celebrates winning gold within the Men’s 5000m Final on Day 15 of the London 2012 Olympic Games
Sir Mo kneels as he’s made a Knight Bachelor of the British Empire by the Queen at a Buckingham Palace ceremony in November 2017
A timeline: Mo Farah reveals how he was trafficked into Britain from Somalia under one other child’s name
1983: Sir Mo Farah is born Abdi Kahin in Somaliland
1987: The family becomes torn apart when his father dies within the war when he’s aged just 4. Separated from his mother, he and Hassan were sent to live with relatives in Djibouti within the Horn of Africa.
1993: He’s smuggled into the UK as an illegal immigrant under a false passport bearing his recent identity ‘Mo Farah’ – a reputation that had been stolen from one other child.
1994: He’s enrolled in a troublesome junior school within the predominantly white area of Feltham, west London, where his refusal to be cowed meant he was endlessly entering into fights. He confides in PE teacher Alan Watkinson, who alerts social services to his situation and he’s subsequently placed into the care of one other family.
1997: Mo is chosen to represent England at a global meet in Latvia. Nonetheless, he doesn’t hold the documentation to have the option to travel for the event. Mr Watkinson then helps the then teenager apply for UK citizenship.
2000: Farah is granted British citizenship.
2012: Representing GB, Mo wins the gold medal within the Men’s 5,000 and 10,000 metres on the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
2017: The Olympic champion is knighted for services to athletics at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace he attends with wife Tania in November 2017.
‘There’s a something about me you don’t know,’ Sir Mo tells us at the start of the BBC programme.
‘It’s a secret I’ve been hiding since I used to be a toddler. And to have the option to face it and talk in regards to the facts, the way it happened, why it happened, is hard.
‘The reality is I’m not who you’re thinking that I’m. And now, whatever the price, I would like to inform the actual story.’
Over the course of the subsequent soul-searching hour, Sir Mo, 39, does just that.
At one point, he produces his visa document, saying: ‘Yeah that’s my photo, nevertheless it’s not my name.’
In reality, Sir Mo was born Hussein Abdi Kahin, something he only fully comprehended much later – and remains to be struggling to make sense of.
Since his harrowing childhood in west London – ‘once I would lock myself in the toilet and cry and there was no person there to assist’ – he has found contentment as a family man with wife Tania and their 4 children.
Definitely, the assorted books written about him – including his own autobiography – can have to be adapted in the sunshine of the disclosures.
Contrary to what has been penned, Sir Mo began life on a farm in Somalia along with his biological parents, Abdi and Aisha, and his siblings, including twin brother Hassan.
The family was torn apart, nonetheless, when his father died within the war when Mo was 4.
Separated from his mother, he and Hassan were sent to live with relatives in Djibouti within the Horn of Africa.
Few could have imagined what lay ahead.
Sooner or later, the teen was told he could be going to stick with other relatives in Europe. In reality, he was smuggled into the UK as an illegal immigrant under a false passport bearing his recent identity ‘Mo Farah’ – a reputation that had been stolen from one other child.
He reveals that when he arrived within the UK he was made to perform household chores for the family of the lady who brought him to London.
Sir Mo, who was knighted in 2017, says: ‘I had all of the contact details for my relatives and once we got to her house, the girl took it off me and right in front of me ripped them up and put it within the bin and at that moment I knew I used to be in trouble.’
At one point within the BBC documentary on his upbringing, Sir Mo produces his visa document, saying: ‘Yeah that’s my photo, nevertheless it’s not my name’
Sir Mo Farah along with his brothers through the filming in Somaliland of the BBC documentary The Real Mo Farah, which might be broadcast at 9pm on Wednesday
Sir Mo speaks along with his brother Hassan and mother Aisha (pictured holding a photograph) during filming for the BBC documentary The Real Mo Farah
Lookalike: Sir Mo’s mother Ahmed and his son Hussein Farah are pictured during filming for the documentary in Somaliland
Sir Mo Farah’s mother Aisha through the filming in Somaliland of the BBC documentary, The Real Mo Farah
Whether the lady had invented Sir Mo’s alleged relatives, or kept him from them, is unclear.
He adds: ‘If I wanted food in my mouth my job was to take care of those kids, shower them, cook for them, clean for them, and he or she said “For those who ever need to see your loved ones again, don’t say anything. For those who say anything, they are going to take you away”.’
The girl on the centre of the controversy didn’t reply to the BBC’s requests for comment.
The Olympics legend says he escaped from his terrible predicament only after confiding in his PE teacher Alan Watkinson.
He was then put involved with social services and moved in with a schoolfriend’s mother, Kinsi.
Finally comfortable and cared for, he remained there for the subsequent seven years. The teacher who got here to Sir Mo’s rescue also helped him to get UK citizenship.
It was then that his athletic talent began to shine through – and from here, his story becomes the one we all know.
Within the documentary, Sir Mo, who gave his name Hussein to one in every of his children, gets to fulfill in a video call the ‘real’ Mo Farah, the person whose identity he falsely assumed all those years ago.
Shortly before that moving clip, Sir Mo says of him: ‘I often think in regards to the other Mohammed Farah, the boy whose place I took on the plane and I actually hope he’s OK.
‘Wherever he’s, I carry his name and that would cause problems now for me and my family.’
Of their subsequent meeting, the 2 Mos exchange jokes, with the ‘real’ Mo admitting that he was never any good at running although, like his famous counterpart, he’s an Arsenal fan.
He adds that, unlike Sir Mo, he’s single and childless.
Their call ends with Sir Mo promising that he’ll attempt to make it possible for the person to come back to the UK and meet him.
So why has it taken so long for the reality to come back out?
Within the programme, we see a barrister tell Sir Mo that – despite the fact that he was a blameless child, and social services had been informed of the reality of his situation – there was still a ‘real risk’ he may very well be stripped of his British citizenship.
Sir Mo celebrates with Usain Bolt victory within the Men’s 5000m final on day fifteen of the London Olympic Games in 2012
Sir Mo celebrates as he crosses the ending line to take gold within the 10,000m Men’s Final during day one in every of the 2017 IAAF World Championships
Sir Mo pictured in his trademark pose after winning the Men’s 3000m Final during day one in every of the Anniversary Games on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2015
Sir Mo celebrated with a Union Jack flag after winning the Men’s 10,000 metres on the 2015 World Championships in Beijing
Sir Mo celebrates after winning the Men’s 5000m and 10,000m on the Olympic Stadium on the fifteenth day of the Rio Olympic Games in August 2016
This was because there have been ‘false representations’ that meant his nationality was obtained by fraud.
Sir Mo then tells his wife: ‘I don’t think I used to be ever able to say anything, not because you need to lie but because you might be protecting yourself.’ It is known that he’s now in search of legal advice on find out how to engage with the Home Office.
Officials confirmed nonetheless that ‘no motion in any respect might be taken against Sir Mo and to suggest otherwise is fallacious’.
This extraordinary tale isn’t the primary time Sir Mo has been embroiled in controversy. In 2015 it was revealed that he had missed two drug tests – in 2010 and 2011 – within the buildup to the Olympics.
And the BBC’s Panorama revealed two years ago that he had received a performance-enhancing complement before the 2014 London Marathon, which he did not declare.
He has at all times insisted he’s a ‘clean’ athlete and claimed he genuinely forgot in regards to the complement, which isn’t banned if taken below a certain dosage.
‘I can sleep at night knowing I actually have done nothing fallacious,’ he said on the time.
So why has Sir Mo finally decided to disclose his secret past? The explanation, he says, is due to his children – he wanted them to know the reality.
‘Family means the whole lot to me, and you already know as a parent, you mostly teach your kids to be honest,’ he says. ‘But I feel like I’ve at all times had that personal thing where I could never be me and tell what’s really happened.
‘I’ve been keeping it in for thus long. It’s been difficult since you don’t need to face it and infrequently my kids ask questions “Dad, how come this?” And also you’ve at all times got a solution for the whole lot, but you haven’t got a solution for that.
‘That’s the most important reason in telling my story, because I need to feel normal … and never feel such as you’re holding on to something.’