Team Great Britain Olympic long-distance runner Sir Mohamed “Mo” Farah said on Monday that he was illegally trafficked to the United Kingdom (U.K.) as a child.
Farah told the BBC that he was taken from Djibouti and forced to work as a servant in the U.K. after his name was changed from Hussein Abdi Kahin.
“For years I just kept blocking it out,” Farah said. “But you can only block it out for so long.”
Farah claims that he was told by the woman who trafficked him that he was going to Europe to live with family and that she had falsified documents for him with the name Mohamed.
The four-time Olympic gold medal winner has previously maintained that he and his family were refugees from Somalia but now says that his parents and brothers lived in Somaliland and never came to the U.K.
Farah said he realized that he was being tricked when the women ripped up a piece of paper Farah had taken to the U.K. with his relatives’ contact information written on it.
“At that moment, I know I was in trouble,” he said.
Farah recalls that the woman said, “If you ever wanna see your family again, don’t say anything.”