Brit becomes embroiled in row with Haile Gebrselassie on eve of Sunday’s big race following hotel theft claims
Mo Farah’s preparations for the Virgin Money London Marathon took a stormy turn four days before the big race when he got involved in a heated spat with Ethiopian legend Haile Gebrselassie.
At the end of his London Marathon press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Farah said that while staying at a hotel owned by Gebrselassie in Addis Ababa, where the Briton was on a training camp, he had money, a watch and two phones taken from his room.
Farah said that Gebrselassie did not help him, and added: “I was just disappointed with Haile.
“Just to be honest, it’s Haile who owns the hotel and when you stay for three months in that hotel, it was very disappointing to know that someone who has that hotel and that kind of support couldn’t do nothing.”
Gebrselassie later issued a response including some claims of his own relating to Farah’s time at the hotel.
“It’s with deep sorrow that I learn Mo Farah dispatched a deceit information against me and my property in Addis Ababa, towards our unreserved support and commitment in regarding to his unproven claim of robbery at YAYA Village on 23rd March 2019, in today’s press conference held at London ahead of the 2019 London Marathon,” began the statement.
Gebrselassie claimed that there had been “multiple reports of disgraceful conduct” by Farah and his entourage made by hotel staff.
— 🇪🇹Haileegziabher🇪🇹 (@haileadhanom) April 24, 2019
Following Gebrselassie’s statement, a spokesperson for Farah said: “Mo is disappointed with this statement and the continued reluctance by the hotel and its owner to take responsibility for this robbery.
“Mo disputes all of these claims which are an effort to distract from the situation, where members of his hotel staff used a room key and stole money and items from Mo Farah’s room (there was no safe as it was faulty, and Mo requested a new one).
“Police report confirm the incident and the hotel admitted responsibility and were in contact with Mo’s legal advisor. The hotel even offered to pay Mo the amount stolen, only to withdraw the offer when he prematurely left the hotel and moved to other accommodation, due to security concerns.
“Despite many attempts to discuss this issue privately with Mr Gebrselassie, he did not respond but now that he has, we would welcome him or his legal team getting in touch so that this matter can be resolved.”