Farah Temporarily Detained By Customs

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Dec. 31, 2012
  • Updated Jan. 1, 2013 at 2:50 PM UTC
Mo Farah was detained by U.S. Customs in Oregon. Photo:

He was pulled aside in Oregon due to his Somali descent.

This holiday season was a bit of a challenge for double Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah. The British citizen, who was born in Somalia, was returning to Portland, Oregon to be with his family and train under the watchful eye of his coach, Alberto Salazar.

Apparently, Farah ran into trouble with immigration upon his arrival because he is of Somali descent.

“I couldn’t believe it,” said Farah. “Because of my Somali origin I get detained every time I come through U.S. Customs. This time I even got my medals out to show who I am, but they wouldn’t have it.”

Lucky for Farah, his coach has contacts with the FBI.

“God knows what would have happened if he didn’t,” said Farah.

Besides winning two gold distance medals at the London Games in August (5,000m and 10,000m), Farah is also a multiple British record holder.

In Oregon, he trains with Olympic silver medalist Galen Rupp.

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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