Aussie ex-cycling coach fumes at tribunal

Ian Parkes

Former cycling coach Shane Sutton is considering whether to return to give evidence to a medical tribunal in Manchester on Thursday after storming out of the proceedings on Tuesday.

The Australian ex-head coach of British Cycling and Team Sky vehemently denied accusations of doping, lying and bullying put by the QC representing Dr Richard Freeman, the former medic of the same organisations attempting to prove he is fit to continue to practise medicine.

Freeman has already admitted a series of charges against him, including ordering 30 sachets of Testogel to British Cycling headquarters in 2011. Freeman claims the banned product was ordered for Sutton to treat an erectile dysfunction.

Sutton said he got himself "into an emotional state" as he faced the questioning of Mary O'Rourke, likened by Simon Jackson, the QC for the General Medical Council, as "machine-gun accusations".

After being questioned by O'Rourke for two hours, Sutton decided he had had enough.

In a furious outburst, he told the tribunal: "I've spent two days waiting to come up here, I've told the truth, I've answered your questions, taken your bullying, and my children have taken your gutter tactics in the press.

"She (O'Rourke) has accused me, but I've looked the panel in the eye, I'm not lying. I'm going to leave the hearing now. I don't need to be dragged through this s**t fight she is dragging me through personally.

"I'm going to go back to my little hole in Spain, enjoy my retirement and sleep at night knowing full well I didn't order any patches (of Testogel)."

It is the GMC's case that Freeman obtained the Testogel in the knowledge, or belief, that it was to be given to an athlete to enhance performance.

On several occasions during the hearing, Sutton denied the Testogel was for his personal use.

At one stage, he stated: "If I had ordered it, I would have no problem telling you it was for me.

"You're telling me I can't get a hard on in the press. My wife wants to testify and tell you you're a bloody liar. It wasn't for me and I never ordered it."

The hearing is set to continue on Thursday.