Four-time Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah was hit with a host of online abuse, after taking to Instagram to wish his followers Merry Christmas.
Farah, recently named BBC Sports Personality of the Year, shared a picture of himself to his 667,000 followers on the social media channel on Christmas Day.
But the 34-year-old – a practising Muslim – was soon slammed by users for appearing to celebrate the Christian holiday.
Farah posted a picture of himself pouting, while wearing a Santa’s hat, to the displeasure of those who believed that he shouldn’t be celebrating another religion.
One user declared: “You are portraying pagan holiday characters … this is wrong and Allah is most merciful SO PLEASE REPENT AND REMOVE THIS.”
A second added: “You are being given the name of our beloved prophet Mohamed and it is better to protect the honourable name and your religion of Islam.”
A third user posted: “Mohamed Farah shame on you” as while another added: “The respect I had for you went way down. Shame bro.”
Another declared: “Real Muslims not celebrate Christmas!!!”
Other users soon leapt to Farah’s defence however, while more than 26,000 people have since liked his message.
One post declared: “just leave him alone he is just showing RESPECT to other religions”.
Another added: “Mo is spreading love & positivity.”
The abuse of Farah comes after boxer Amir Khan was subjected to similar treatment – and even hit with a death threat – after posting a picture of his Christmas tree in the lead up to Christmas day.
Former world champion Khan, 31, shared a video of the tree he had decorated while three-year-old daughter Lamaisah was asleep, telling his 1.2million followers: “While everyone’s asleep, daddy put the Christmas tree up.