Haile Gebrselassie’s row with Mo Farah rumbles on

  •  PA Sport

Haile Gebrselassie has escalated his extraordinary war of words with Sir Mo Farah by claiming Farah “punched and kicked” a husband and wife during a stay in his Ethiopian hotel.

The double Olympic champion has said Farah had an altercation at the hotel gym with a married couple.

Speaking to newspaper reporters ahead of Sunday’s London Marathon, Farah had earlier 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.

But Gebrselassie says several witnesses saw four-time Olympic champion Farah clash with the husband and wife in the gym at the hotel.

“Farah said to him: ‘Why are you following me?’” Gebrselassie told the Guardian. “The guy said he wasn’t – and that he was just doing his work.

“Immediately Farah punched them and kicked them by foot. Especially the husband. There were lots of witnesses.”

Farah disputes all the allegations and the row comes after he claimed he had £2,600 in cash in four currencies stolen, as well as a TAG watch and two mobile phones.

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.”

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

In a statement to Press Association Sport, 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.

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