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Mo Farah stands by racial harassment claim
Mo Farah stands by racial harassment claim

Mo Farah stands by racial harassment claim

Written by Gideon Sarpong

Sir Mo Farah stands by his statement he was racially harassed at Munich airport and has lodged a formal complaint with the airport and the German police.

The German Federal Police responded to the British four-time Olympic champion's initial claim by saying the accused officer was "properly carrying out his duty".

Farah had posted a video on Instagram showing an altercation at the airport.

But the police added they "cannot see any indication of racial harassment".

Farah, 34, was travelling to Ethiopia in preparation for next month's London Marathon when the alleged incident took place.

"The guy is touching me up like crazy. Pure harassment. Pure, pure, harassment," the Somalia-born athlete wrote, later posting the 47-second video on social media with the caption "Sad to see racial harassment in this day and age. 2018...!!!!"

In a statement, a police spokesperson said security checks at the airport are carried out by a private company on behalf of the State of Bavaria.

"It seemed that Sir Mo Farah did not agree with this passenger security check performed on him and blamed this check on a racist measure. Obviously he was very upset," the statement added.

"As Sir Mo Farah didn't want to leave the security check point, security staff asked the Federal Police officer seen in the video for support. In cooperation with the security staff's supervisor, the officer tried to explain this routine measure to Sir Mo Farah and to calm him down. Unfortunately that didn't work.

"Then the officer asked him to leave the security check point because he was blocking the area. Sir Mo Farah got more and more upset. He continued arguing and blaming security staff and the Federal Police Officer being racists."

Police said Farah began to film in the security check area, "which is not allowed".

"The officer asked him to stop immediately recording. As Sir Mo Farah ignored this police order the officer asked him to leave the security control area and proceed to his departure gate," said the statement.

"Mr Farah persistently ignored this second police order so that the officer slightly touched him and tried to direct him away from the security check area to the shopping and gate section what you can see in the video."

In a statement released to Press Association Sport on Tuesday, a spokesperson for Farah said: "This afternoon there was an incident at a German airport while Mo was travelling back to his training camp in Ethiopia.

"Mo felt that the incident was racially motivated and that he was unfairly treated by the airport security staff."

Following the German police's response, another statement was released, saying: "Mo stands by his statement and has lodged a formal complaint with Munich Airport and the German Federal Police."

Farah won London's Big Half race on Sunday, his final outing before the London Marathon on 22 April.

Credit: BBC