Mo Farah Really Wants You to Know He Was Burglarized at Haile Gebrselassie’s Hotel

By Jonathan Gault
April 24, 2019

Editor’s note: There is response to this article here: Haile Gebrselassie Fires Back At Mo Farah, Accuses Him of “Disgraceful Conduct,” Says Sir Mo Was Reported For Attacking A “Married Athlete” In Hotel Gym.

Editor’s note #2: There is a 3rd article hereVictim of Mo Farah’s Alleged Attack Says His Altercation with Farah Was “Minor” & That His Wife Was Not Struck

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LONDON — The opening press conference of the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon ended on a strange note this morning as four-time Olympic champion Mo Farah informed the assembled media that he had been the victim of theft while staying at Yaya Africa Athletics Village, a hotel near Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that is owned by distance running legend Haile Gebrselassie. Farah stayed at the hotel for three months during his London Marathon buildup.

“Someone at the hotel got into my bag, opened my bag, took my money, took my nice watch my wife bought me [as] a present,” Farah said. “Just to be honest, Haile owns the hotel. When you stay for three months in that hotel, it’s very disappointing to know someone who has that hotel and that kind of hotel couldn’t do nothing. And at the end, they couldn’t do nothing, so just disappointed in Haile.”

Farah later told British journalists more details of the “robbery” (technically this was a burglary). “The robbery happened on my birthday, when I went for an early morning Sunday run.” Farah told The Guardian. According to The Guardian, over $3,200 worth of cash (spread across four currencies) was stolen in addition to two cell phones. ”

Farah’s statement created a strange vibe among the journalists I spoke to at the race hotel. It felt odd for a couple of reasons:

1) Farah made the comments completely unprompted. The Q&A portion of the press conference was over, and Farah was free to leave, but he wanted to stay for an extra minute and make a point of bringing the incident to the media’s attention.

2) Farah singled out Gebrselassie specifically. After the press conference, Farah told the group of British journalists that he had texted Gebrselassie about the incident, which happened on his 36th birthday (March 23) but had received no response.

Farah easily could have not brought up the burglary with the media. Clearly he brought it up for a reason. Exactly what that reason was — whether it was to simply air his frustration at the loss of several valuables (Farah’s only complaint from an otherwise “perfect” London Marathon buildup) or to publicly shame Gebrselassie in to paying him back or something else — remains unclear. But it was certainly an interesting way to kick off London Marathon week.

Editor’s note: There is response to this article here: Haile Gebrselassie Fires Back At Mo Farah, Accuses Him of “Disgraceful Conduct,” Says Sir Mo Was Reported For Attacking A “Married Athlete” In Hotel Gym.

Discuss: Mo Farah is not happy his stuff was stolen at Geb’s hotel in Ethiopia

More from The Guardian: Mo Farah rails at Haile Gebrselassie over Ethiopia hotel theft

From the archives: LRC Debate: After Berlin Who is the Greatest of All-Time – Kenenisa Bekele, Haile Gebrselassie or Mo Farah?

Farah and Gebrselassie rarely raced each other but are in battle for GOAT
Photo by Owen Humphreys/PA Archive licensed by

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