Mo Farah's stunning double gold medal success at the 2012 Olympics made the athlete – and his "Mobot" victory sign – a global phenomenon: everywhere, it seems, apart from one TV station in New Orleans.
In the two-minute interview following the race, Farah was at first bemused when the presenter asked: "Now haven't you run before?" Norton repeated the question again, asking, "Haven't you run before? This isn't your first time?"
Farah broke into a smile and replied that he had run a half-marathon before, but that this was his first time running in New Orleans.
Norton, a reporter at the TV station since 2006, then congratulated Farah for winning the half-marathon and getting "off to a great start" in his attempt to run longer distances. "Do you have any other races coming up?" she added.
Not once during the interview did Norton note Farah's 5,000 metres and 10,000m gold medal success at the London Olympics, only ever referring to him as the male winner of that Sunday's half-marathon.
After his success in London last summer, Farah's Mobot went viral and was even copied in homage by 100m sprint champion Usain Bolt during the Games.
A source from Farah's agency said they believed it was a "a case of not knowing who they were talking to."
A producer at WSDU said that the recording had been taken out of context. The Hearst-owned news station said that Norton "knew he [Farah] was an Olympian". Norton, the producer explained, had been asking Farah not whether he had run at all, but whether this was his first time pounding the pavement in New Orleans.
However, in an official statement WSDU management issued an apology: "We regret our unfortunate phrasing of questions posed to Mr Mo Farah following his impressive victory in this past weekend's Rock 'n' Roll half-marathon in New Orleans and for not acknowledging his status as an Olympic champion.
"We express our sincere apology to Mr Farah and his many fans who may have been offended by our error. We hope that Mr Farah will have occasion to visit New Orleans again and that we may have the opportunity to apologise in person."
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