Dr Richard Freeman tribunal: Ex-cycling coach Shane Sutton storms out over 'doper' claim
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 12/11/19 6:31pm
Former British cycling director and Team Sky head coach Shane Sutton stormed out of Dr Richard Freeman's medical tribunal after denying claims he is a "doper".
Dr Freeman is facing an allegation he ordered 30 Testogel sachets, a substance banned by WADA, to the National Cycling Centre in May 2011 knowing or believing it was intended for an athlete to enhance performance, which he denies.
He claims the testosterone he ordered was on behalf of Sutton.
In the opening hour of testimony, Sutton had numerous angry exchanges with defence counsel Mary O'Rourke QC.
Sutton accused her of being a "bully" and at one point threatened to sue her for defamation if she did not retract comments calling him a "liar" and a "doper." She refused.
Sutton also said he would be happy to take a lie-detector test to prove that he did not order the patches.
Dr Freeman, as a vulnerable witness, spoke from behind a screen so Sutton cannot see him, and Sutton made reference to that when denying any knowledge of the Testogel delivery.
He said: "Tell Dr Freeman to take this screen down and look me in the eye. He won't because he knows I didn't order it. I've got no reason to lie. I classed him as a friend. He did a lot for me. I have no issues with Dr Freeman whatsoever."
On the accusations of being a doper, Sutton repeatedly denied ever having used testosterone, except for one knee injury in 1986.
After continued questioning, Sutton then left the tribunal in Manchester after calling Dr Freeman "spineless".
An official could not persuade Sutton to return and it is unclear whether he will resume giving evidence, having been due to also appear on Thursday.
The hearing, which is to determine Dr Freeman's fitness to practise medicine, continues.
Sutton: I have been singled out
Speaking to Sky Sports News outside the tribunal in Manchester, Sutton said: "It was tough. I want to go away and reflect on what was said and consider coming back on Thursday.
"I defend any allegations regarding the case. It was disappointing the way I have been singled out and feel like I am on trial.
"I need to go and talk to my family and discuss whether I return and give any more evidence.
"You've got everything I said in there, at the end of the day I know full well that I never made that order.
"[O'Rourke] is an individual that does not know me and is trying to discredit me. It is quite upsetting that she can make accusations and there was nothing evidence-based in there.
"It's quite sad that my son could pick up the paper and see his dad being accused of being a bully, when actually this lady has become the bully.
"Where is the evidence? One or two jealous individuals might give statements on what you have done in your career but to bring up things like medals I won in 1978 - seriously, who is interested in my past history?
"This is all about the here and now and this particular case, this is not about me."