Mo Farah reveals he was smuggled out of Djibouti as a child

Four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah said he was smuggled into the UK from Djibouti under the name of another child.

“The truth is, I’m not who you think I am,” Farah, 39, told the BBC in a documentary called The Real Mo Farah.

Farah, who became the first British athlete to win four Olympic gold medals, said his children encouraged him to come clean about his past.

“The real story is that I was born in Somaliland, north of Somalia, as Hussain Abdi Kaheen,” he told the BBC. “Despite what I’ve said in the past, my parents never lived in the UK.”

“When I was four years old, my father was killed during the civil war, you know, as a family, we were separated. I was separated from my mother and smuggled into the UK under the name of another child named Mohamed Farah.”

During the documentary, Farah said he thought he was going to Europe to live with relatives and recalled going through a British passport check disguised as Mohamed at the age of nine after traveling with a woman he didn’t previously know.

“I had all the contact details of my relative and as soon as we got to her house, the woman took them off me and right in front of me tore them up and threw them in the trash, and at that moment I realized that I had a problem,” he said.

The athlete returned to his childhood home in west London, recalling “not very good memories” where he was not treated like a family member.

Farah eventually told teacher Alan Watkinson the truth and went to live with her friend’s mom, who took care of him, and he ended up staying there for seven years.

It was Watkinson who applied for Farah’s British citizenship, which he described as “a long process”.