Farah is quizzed by US guards

London: Olympian Mo Farah has claimed that he was quizzed by United States border officials on suspicion of being a terrorist.

The double gold medal winner, who was awarded a CBE in the New Year's honours list, said he was hauled before guards while entering the country for a holiday during Christmas.

The 29-year-old runner told a British tabloid that border guards questioned him because of his 'Somalia origin'.

The athlete even resorted to showing his Olympic medals in an effort to prove who he was.

Farah said that he gets detained every time he enters the US because of his 'Somali origin'. He said that he was pulled aside by officials while visiting Portland, Oregon, with his family this Christmas.

He said on a previous visit to the country, he was asked to leave before receiving a letter explaining that he was 'under investigation as a terrorist threat'.

Farah moved to the UK with his British-born father when aged only eight.

"I couldn't believe it. Because of my Somali origin I get detained every time I come through US Customs," he said.

Farah, whose triumphs in the 5,000 metre and 10,000 metre races provided two of the most exciting moments of London Olympics, trains in the US.

After failing to qualify for the 2008 Olympics, he moved his wife Tania and daughter Rihanna to Portland to work with legendary coach Alberto Salazar at Nike's headquarters.

But the runner said that he had previously encountered problems with border officials.

He said: "When we tried to get a residency visa, Nike obviously signed it all off and we thought it was going to be straightforward.

"We were in Portland on a tourist visa so had to leave and re-enter the country as a resident. So we flew to Toronto to stay for a few days, then come back in.

"But when we were there we got a letter telling us we're under investigation as a terrorist threat and we would have to stay away for 90 days.

"We had only packed four days' worth of clothes. We didn't know what to do."

In desperation Mo got in touch with coach Salazar.

He added: "As luck would have it Alberto has a friend who works for the FBI. This guy happens to be a massive running fan, knew exactly who I was and got it sorted then and there.

"God knows what would have happened if he didn't. We'd probably still be in Toronto."

Meanwhile, he gave one of his trademark grins on Saturday as he told of his joy at getting a CBE and said: "I'm blown away, so honoured."

"For me 2012 is done and it's time to look ahead. But I'll never forget what everyone in Team GB achieved."

His CBE comes after his Olympic heroics and popularity with the public somehow failed to land him a spot in the top three of the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year.

But Mo is typically philosophical about the disappointment ' and typically generous in his praise of the SPOTY award's winner, cycling superstar Bradley Wiggins.

He said: "I suppose it is a difficult one to get my head around but it doesn't upset me.


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