Mo Farah in extraordinary war of words with fellow runner Haile Gebrselassie after 'watch and money stolen from hotel' on his birthday

Jacob Jarvis

Mo Farah has been in embroiled in an extraordinary war of words with a fellow distance runner after £2,500 and a luxury watch belonging to him went missing from a hotel.

He claims the items were stolen while he was staying at an establishment in Addis Ababa owned by Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie on his birthday, March 23.

The four-time Olympic gold medallist said the money, in multiple currencies, a watch and two mobile phones were taken from a locked suitcase in the room which he had stayed in for three months.

At a press conference ahead of the London Marathon, Mr Farah publicly aired his grievances and complained Mr Gebrselassie and his staff did not do enough to rectify the situation.

The pair have competed together previously (Getty Images)

"I am disappointed with Haile.

“He didn’t respond even though it’s his hotel,” Mr Farah told reporters.

He said he contacted 46-year-old Mr Gebrselassie multiple times via telephone but that he had not heard back.

In the last text Mr Farah sent he threatened to publicly shame his fellow runner, which he followed through with at the London Marathon launch.

Haile Gebrselassie hit back at what he called 'disgraceful conduct' from Mo Farah (AFP/Getty Images)

However, Mr Gebrselassie hit back at Mr Farah, claiming he did investigate but calling it an “unproven” claim of robbery.

The retired runner and former world champion said five members of his staff from the Yaya Africa Athletics Village hotel were arrested in relation to the incident but had since been released without charge.

He also claimed there had been a 50 per cent discount on the room for Mr Farah, while also stating Mr Farah had rejected the option of putting his money in a safety deposit box.

Then in rebuttal he issued claims back that Mr Farah had not paid a service bill of £2,313 and also besmirched his conduct during his time at the hotel.

Mr Gebrselassie spoke of “disgraceful conduct” from Mr Farah and his entourage while he also alleged the British runner attacked a “married athlete” during his time there, but charges were dropped after he mediated.

A representative for Mr Farah said he was disappointed with Mr Gebrselassie's statement.

They 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).

"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."

Mr Gebrselassie similarly said his lawyers would “deal with the matter accordingly”.

Mr Farah will be a focal point at the London Marathon and said he is not turning up "expecting to finish third or fourth".

However, he is only the eight fastest competitor in the race based on previous times.

"I am here to race and will give 100 percent as I always do," he said.