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Shane Sutton walked out of the Richard Freeman medical tribunal hearing on Tuesday following a tense exchange as he was being cross-examined by Freeman’s lawyer.
Freeman, the former doctor of British Cycling and Team Sky, is accused of ordering a delivery of testosterone packets to British Cycling headquarters in 2011 “knowing or believing it was to be administered to an athlete to improve their athletic performance.” Freeman’s legal team, however, is arguing that he ordered the testosterone for Sutton to treat erectile dysfunction, with Freeman saying that the former British Cycling and Sky coach “bullied” him.
At the tribunal hearing on Tuesday in Manchester, Freeman’s lawyer Mary O’Rourke called Sutton “a habitual and serial liar” and a “doper,” according to the Guardian and other media outlets. In an ensuing cross-examination, O’Rourke questioned the 62-year-old Australian on his prior racing career during a time when anti-doping test was less robust.
“My career spanned 100 tests and every one was negative,” Sutton said, according to The Guardian. “You have called me a serial liar but you don’t even know me. I just think you are totally out of order. An apology would be nice given you don’t even know me.”
Sutton vented his frustration with Freeman, who was sitting behind a screen.
“I am prepared to take a lie detector test. Who is lying? The guy who isn’t prepared to look his friend in the eye,” Sutton said. “This is a guy who came to hospital when I had bleeding on the brain when he had no reason to. To me he is a bloody good doctor and a friend.”
Sutton denied any knowledge of the testosterone delivery.
“I have never ordered any Testogel, I swear on my three-year-old daughter’s life,” Sutton said, before turning to where Freeman was sitting and saying, “Richard take the screen down and look me in the eye. There’s a word spineless that comes into play.”
Tensions remained high as O’Rourke pressed him on the topic of erectile dysfunction.
“You are telling the press I can’t get a hard on – my wife wants to testify that you are a bloody liar,” Sutton said.
After calling O’Rourke a “bully,” and threatening to sue her, Sutton ultimately walked out of the hearing altogether, saying, “I don’t need to be dragged into this shit fight.”