Sunday 26 May 2019

Olympic legends Mo Farah and Haile Gebrselassie embroiled in extraordinary war of words over alleged hotel robbery

Mo Farah
Mo Farah
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Mo Farah is embroiled in an extraordinary war of words with fellow distance star Haile Gebrselassie over a stay in his Ethiopian hotel.

Speaking to newspaper reporters ahead of Sunday's London Marathon, Farah criticised Gebrselassie over an alleged robbery in a hotel owned by the retired Ethiopian in which he claims he had a watch, two phones and money stolen.

Farah said Gebrselassie did not return his messages about the incident, and said: "I just want him to take responsibility for getting my stuff back.

"It's a hotel's responsibility to be able to get it back. You pay for each night - you're not getting it free."

Gebrselassie, 46, responded to Farah's claims with an astonishing statement alleging "multiple reports of disgraceful conduct" by the four-time Olympic champion and his entourage.

Gebrselassie also alleged that Farah had been reported to the police for "attacking a married athlete in the gym", and that charges were dropped following his personal mediation.

A spokesperson for Farah has since claimed those allegations are a deflection tactic from Gebrselassie.

In a statement, the spokesperson 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 reports 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."

Gebrselassie claimed that Farah declined the use of a safety deposit box and said five members of hotel staff had been detained by police investigating the "unproven" robbery for three weeks before being released.

Press Association

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