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Mo Farah detained by Homeland Security

Even with a fresh CBE after his name and two Olympic gold medals in his luggage, it seems Mo Farah can't escape hassle from US Homeland Security. Farah was detained by security agents on suspicion of being a terrorist when he flew to Oregon to spend Christmas with his family in his US home.

Immigration officers took one look at Farah's birthplace, Somalia, on his passport and raised alarm bells. “I couldn’t believe it,” Farah said. “Because of my Somali origins I get detained every time I come through US Customs. This time I even got my medals out to show who I am, but they wouldn’t have it.”

Farah moved to Oregon before the Olympics to work with the coach Alberto Salazar, a key element that contributed to the runner's success at London 2012. Although the training has been a resounding success, residency has been complicated.

“When we tried to get a residency visa, Nike obviously signed it all off and we thought it was going to be straightforward,” Farah said. “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. 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.”

Only the fact that Salazar had a contact in the FBI who was familiar with international athletics allowed Farah to enter the country. The rest is Olympic history, although it seems that the Portland security officers still need a little update on what happened in the summer.

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