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‘I’m no thief… Mo Farah should apologise’

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Mo Farah. PHOTO: Eric FEFERBERG / AFP

A young chambermaid thrown in Kenyan jail for 16 days accused of stealing Olympic hero, Mo Farah’s £8k Tag watch, two mobile phones and £2,600 cash in four currencies, narrated her ordeal yesterday. ‘If you believe I am innocent, then apologise to me’

Abebech Gradisa, 23, spent 16 days in a stark prison cell where slept on the floor, showered from a bucket after Farah complained money and personal items had been stolen from his room.

Softly-spoken Abebech fought back tears as she told how her nightmare began when Farah called in police and she immediately came under suspicion as she had serviced his room.

She said: ‘I knew I was innocent, but I was scared. There was no evidence against me, but they still put me in jail.

‘I had serviced his room for two months and he would leave his laptop and money out and I would always put it on the table for him.

‘I have never stolen anything and I have worked at the hotel for eight months without any complaint against me. I clean 12 rooms every day.’

Abebech, who has a three-year-old daughter, was arrested with four other staff members at the Yaya Village Hotel after they were caught up in the middle of a bitter dispute between Sir Mo and fellow Olympic legend Haile Gebrselassie.

The alleged theft, which is being investigated by police, happened at the hotel owned by Gebrselassie and the two athletes have been embroiled in a public spat.

Gebrselassie, 46, yesterday told MailOnline: ‘Until Wednesday [when Farah made public his allegation] we were friends. If you ask me today…we are enemies.’

Gebrselassie has said he and Farah had also been in disagreement after he had refused to host a running coach accused of doping offences.

He told the Daily Telegraph Farah, the four-time Olympic champion, was angered by his stance in refusing to let Jama Aden stay at the Yaya Village.

Gebrselassie claimed Aden, who was the target of a 2016 drugs swoop in Spain, wanted to stay at the resort in the months after he became president of the Ethiopian Athletics Federation in 2016.

In turn, Farah claims room 133 where he had stayed for three months was broken into and thieves stole a Tag watch, two mobile phones and about £2,600 cash in four currencies.


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