Shane Sutton, the former head coach of British Cycling and Team Sky, has been accused of being a doper and a serial liar at the medical tribunal for Dr Richard Freeman.
The bombshell claim from Mary O’Rourke, the QC for Freeman, came shortly before lunch as the tribunal discussed whether Sutton should be allowed to give evidence by video link in Spain after his testimony at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester was delayed by legal argument.
“He is a habitual and serial liar,” claimed O’Rourke, who will finally get the chance to cross-examine Sutton on Tuesday afternoon at the tribunal to determine if Freeman is fit to practise medicine. “He is a doper, with a doping history.”
O’Rourke said that she had 27 pages of notes and “probably over 100 questions” that she wanted to put to Sutton after a number of witnesses had come forward to her with previously unheard testimony.
Dr Freeman, who worked for both British Cycling and Team Sky, has already accepted 18 of 22 charges against him, including that he ordered 30 sachets of the banned substance Testogel to be sent to the Manchester velodrome and then lied to UK Anti-Doping about trying to cover it up.
However he denies the GMC claim that he placed the order knowing it was for an unnamed rider to microdose testosterone. Instead his legal team maintain that it was Sutton who bullied him into ordering the drug in order to treat his erectile dysfunction.
Simon Jackson, QC for the General Medical Council that has brought the case against Freeman, said that Sutton will strenuously deny either suffering from the condition, or that he had ever heard of Testogel prior to the reporting of this case.
Earlier on Tuesday the tribunal chair ruled that Dr Freeman’s health issues could be made public by the tribunal. It was also ruled that Mr Sutton’s alleged erectile dysfunction, which is a central issue in the case, could also be discussed.
The tribunal also heard that the Daily Mail had acknowledged a request to give what O’Rourke claims is a secret affidavit from Sutton that is “totally inconsistent” with evidence he had given to a parliament inquiry into doping in sport.
O’Rourke has previously claimed that document was in the newspaper’s managing editor’s safe as ‚“an insurance policy against any potential claims for defamation by Sir Bradley Wiggins, Freeman or Sir Dave Brailsford” and that it contained “a number of lies”.
The tribunal continues.