Richard Freeman’s defence team to question credibility of former British Cycling and Team Sky head coach Shane Sutton

Eleanor Crooks

Richard Freeman‘s defence team will question the credibility of former British Cycling and Team Sky head coach Shane Sutton, his QC said on Thursday.

Dr Freeman is appearing at a hearing at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) in Manchester to determine his fitness to practise medicine.

QC Mary O’Rourke said Dr Freeman’s team is “gathering information on Sutton that questions his credibility” and that they were likely to want to cross-examine Dr Steve Peters, the former head of medicine at British Cycling.

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It had previously been expected that O’Rourke would only question Sutton but, on the first morning of open proceedings, she said: “We’re likely now to want Dr Peters to be called. He might be able to assist us.”

O’Rourke also said the defence could make an application to a national newspaper regarding information it holds.

O’Rourke, meanwhile, said she was “very disappointed” after the tribunal upheld an application from the General Medical Council’s (GMC) QC to amend two paragraphs of the allegation against Dr Freeman.

At the heart of the case is a delivery of testosterone gel made to British Cycling’s headquarters in 2011.

Dr Freeman had previously said it was delivered in error but, at the preliminary hearing, O’Rourke revealed her client would admit he had told “a lot of lies”.

Dr Richard Freeman and his defence team will question the credibility of Shane Sutton (Getty)
Dr Richard Freeman and his defence team will question the credibility of Shane Sutton (Getty)

The amendment changes the wording of the allegation, which now reads that Dr Freeman obtained the Testogel “knowing or believing” it was to be given to an athlete to enhance performance rather than that the doctor’s motive was to administer the gel to an athlete.

O’Rourke also raised concerns about the close links between the GMC and the MPTS, claiming emails between the two parties regarding witnesses that did not include the defence had made him “very concerned” and “anxious”.

PA

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