A gym employee at a hotel in Ethiopia accused Mo Farah of grabbing him by the neck and shoving him, a second allegation of assault that emerged Thursday following an extraordinary public feud between the four-time Olympic champion and retired distance-running great Haile Gebrselassie.
Chala Diriba, a gym instructor who works at the Yaya Village hotel owned by Gebrselassie, told The Associated Press the assault happened a year ago on one of the British runner’s training trips to the East African country.
Diriba said Farah was angry after accusing the instructor of copying one of his training regimes.
Gebrselassie, a two-time Olympic champion from Ethiopia, has claimed that Farah also assaulted two athletes, a man and his wife, on a separate visit to the same hotel this year.
Farah’s representatives say there was “an incident” at the hotel gym a few weeks ago but it was “not of Mo’s making.” They said Farah was the victim of “threatening behavior” without giving more details of the incident. They said Gebrselassie was not present during the incident.
Farah’s representatives declined to comment on the other alleged assault last year.
The squabble between Farah and Gebrselassie became public Wednesday when Farah said he had money, two cellphones and a valuable watch stolen while staying at Gebrselassie’s hotel last month and the hotel “never took responsibility.”
That led Gebrselassie to detail what he called Farah’s “disgraceful conduct” while staying at his hotel. He also accused Farah of leaving without paying his hotel bill in full.