Updated Jul 11, 2022 - Sports

Olympic runner Mo Farah reveals he was trafficked to UK as a child

Mo Farah competes in the One Hour Race during the Memorial Van Damme Brussels 2020 Diamond League meeting on Sept. 4, 2020, in Brussels. Photo: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Olympic runner Mo Farah was trafficked to the United Kingdom as a child and forced to work as a domestic servant, he recently revealed to the BBC.

Driving the news: Farah was flown to the U.K. from Djibouti when he was 9 years old by a woman he did not know and forced to care for another family's children, according to the BBC.

  • Farah had previously said he and his parents came to the U.K. from Somalia as refugees.

More details: Farah is originally from Somaliland but was staying with family in Djibouti when he was taken, he told the BBC.

  • He was given the name Mohamed Farah by the woman who trafficked him. His real name is Hussein Abdi Kahin, the BBC reported.
  • Farah was not allowed to attend school until he was about 12 years old. He eventually confided his situation to a teacher, who contacted social services and helped get him placed with a Somali foster family.

What he's saying: "Most people know me as Mo Farah, but it's not my name, or it's not the reality," Farah told the BBC. "The real story is I was born in Somaliland, north of Somalia, as Hussein Abdi Kahin."

Background: Farah has four Olympic and six world gold medals for long-distance running. He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2017.

What's next: The BBC is airing a documentary about Farah's story called "The Real Mo Farah" on Wednesday.

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