Tuesday 18 June 2019

German police: Officer accused of racial abuse by Mo Farah did nothing wrong

Mo Farah
Mo Farah
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

German police have rejected Mo Farah's claim that he was racially harassed at Munich Airport and insist the officer filmed by the four-time Olympic champion was "properly carrying out his duty".

Farah filmed on Instagram Live an altercation between him and a uniformed police officer at an airport on Tuesday, later posting it to his Instagram and Twitter feeds with the caption "Sad to see racial harassment in this day and age. 2018...!!!! #airport #germany".

The 34-year-old was giving a running commentary as he was pushed towards the gate by the officer, claiming it was "pure harassment", though there was no evidence of any racial abuse in the 47-second clip.

A spokesperson for Farah said in a statement released to Press Association Sport on Tuesday that there had been "an incident at a German airport" and Farah felt it "was racially motivated and that he was unfairly treated by the airport security staff".

On Wednesday, the German Federal Police gave their version of events, with a spokesperson saying in a statement: "I cannot see any indication of racial harassment by the Federal Police officer at all."

In a statement released to Press Association Sport, a spokesperson said: "On the way to his flight Sir Mo Farah had to pass the security check in Terminal 2 at Munich Airport.

"Security checks at Munich Airport are carried out by a private security 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 a racist measure. Obviously he was very upset.

"As 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.

"At that point Sir Mo Farah started filming the sensible 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.

"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.

"Finally the Federal Police officer was properly carrying out his duty. I cannot see any indication of racial harassment by the Federal Police officer at all."

Farah's journey took him via Germany as he travelled from the UK to Ethiopia to complete his final training block ahead of next month's London Marathon.

The long-distance runner won the inaugural 'Big Half' in London on Sunday, his final warm-up race before he attempts to win the London Marathon on April 22.

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