Mo Farah dismisses claims his Ethiopian hotel row with rival Haile Gebrselassie affected his London Marathon performance

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SIR Mo Farah hit back at claims his row at an Ethiopian hotel was sparked by a controversial coach – as he disappointed in the London Marathon.

The marathon hero, 36, struggled around the course yesterday as he came in fifth after a week of turmoil in the build-up to the race.

Reuters

Sir Mo Farah has dismissed claims that his hotel row affected his performance in the London Marathon[/caption]

It was won by Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya, with Sir Mo failing to even run his personal best.

Days before the big race the Olympic hero was accused by legendary Ethiopian distance runner Haile Gebrselassie of trying to bring controversial trainer Jama Aden into his hotel.

Aden was nicked in 2016 over doping allegations in Spain – with an investigation still ongoing.

But speaking after the race, Sir Mo hit back saying: “That’s a bit below the belt. It’s untrue.” The four time gold medalist said that his coach Gary Lough and training partner could prove that the claims were false.

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The four-time gold medalist finished fifth in this year’s London Marathon[/caption]

Sir Mo’s build up to the race was disrupted after he said that his suitcase had been ransacked while staying at an exclusive resort owned by Gebrselassie.

It sparked a war of words between the running heavy weights – with Sir Mo claiming that a luxury Tag Heuer watch was stolen along with with a load of cash.

But then Gebrselassie made claims about the Aden and that he started a fight with Ethiopian athletes Sisay Tsegaye and his wife Dagmawit Kibiru.

But despite struggling as pounded the streets of London yesterday, Sir Mo claimed it had no influence on his race.

PA:Press Association

Ethiopia’s Haile Gebrselassie, seen here with Farah, accused him of trying to bring Jama Aden into his hotel[/caption]

He said: “It didn’t distract me at all. What I said is the truth and it was all about the London Marathon today.

“I didn’t mean to take any limelight away from the sport.

“I have had a big week in terms of what happened but I stand by every word that I’ve said.

“It’s the honest truth.” The dispute happened at the Yaya Village resort in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and Sir Mo was accused of not paying part of his £2200 bill for his two month stay.

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Jama Aden was arrested in 2016 over doping allegations[/caption]

But yesterday he said: “”If you had all your money stolen, what would you pay with? “Their credit card machine didn’t work.

“There is even a guy from New Zealand who is running the London Marathon and tried to pay on his card and couldn’t.” But he said he wasn’t worried about the row impacting future training camps in the African country.

But he vowed not to stay at the hotel again, adding: “I wouldn’t go back to his place but there are plenty of hotels, I don’t have to back there. I haven’t done anything wrong, I’ve said that and I stand by what I’ve said.” The 2012 hero said that he now plans to rest and gave no hints as to whether he will do the Marathon at next year’s Olympics in Tokyo.

He said: “I think I will just go home and spend time with my kids now.” Before the race his coach Gary Lough – husband of Paula Radcliffe – admitted the Sir Mo is “no angel.” Moments before the start he said: ‘’There’s been a lot of allegations, mostly unfounded, exaggerations.

Getty – Contributor

Farah’s coach Gary Lough claimed that most of the allegations have been exaggerated[/caption]

“It’s not all lies, Mo’s not any angel, there was a little bit of something that happened at one point but I think we’ve seen this week that the guy involved has come out and said ‘listen this was a little bit of a scuffle – my wife wasn’t involved’ – I think there’s just been a few slurs trying to bring him down this week, so it’s kind of been unfortunate’.’

Last night Alazar Mada, marketing manager at the Ya Ya Athlete village hotel, said: “What Mo is saying is not correct. He made no attempt to pay the outstanding bill as he just left.

“If there is a problem with the card machine then there is a bank on the hotel complex for people to use.

“We will always do whatever we can to help customers because sometimes there can be a network problem with the card machine.

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Runner Sisay Tsegaye with his wife Dagmawit Kibiru who are said to have clashed with Farah[/caption]

“What he is now saying is well planned and deliberate. I don’t know why he is saying these things.

“As far as the hotel is concerned he still has an outstanding bill of 81,345 Ethiopian Birr (£2206) to pay.”

Yesterday Ethiopian athlete Sisay Tsegaye, who Sir Mo is alleged to have assaulted at the hotel earlier this year, spoke out after watching the London Marathon.

He said:”Mo didn’t do very well. He wanted to do better but it wasn’t a good performance.

PA:Press Association

Mo says the hotel row didn’t distract him from the marathon at all[/caption]


“I was his pacemaker in 2017 but we fell out and two months ago. He slapped me on the back of my head after a row with some of his staff.

“I went to the police and told them what happened. They wanted to arrest Mo and came to the hotel but in the end he apologised and the matter was dropped.

“He just didn’t want me in the gym at the same time. He said I was copying his routines but they are on You Tube.

“We were friends but then he just stopped talking to me and didn’t even say hello anymore. He was very rude.”

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