Shane Sutton alleged to have used Coke can full of urine to avoid positive drugs test

Richard Freeman's lawyer outlines questions she would have put to Australian had he not walked out of medical tribunal last month...

Shane Sutton allegedly used a Coke can full of urine to avoid returning a positive drugs test during his racing career according to Mary O’Rourke QC, who is defending former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman at a medical tribunal in Manchester.

Speaking at the hearing yesterday, O’Rourke also claimed that the ex-British Cycling technical director received drugs in a toilet in a branch of McDonald’s in Edinburgh, and that he had told Freeman that he had raced while using amphetamines, reports BBC Sport.

The lawyer was outlining the questions she would have put to the Australian during her cross-examination of him last month, cut short when he abruptly left the hearing, saying “I don’t need to be dragged into this shit fight.”

Earlier this week, O’Rourke told the panel that Sutton “fled” from the hearing “before questions he knew were coming.”

Yesterday, she revealed that former OIympic and world champion Nicole Cooke and her father had given a statement, running to five pages, in which they made allegations of “bullying, dishonesty and other shady behaviour.”

She also claimed that Sutton used his partner’s phone to call Freeman and subject him to verbal abuse, with the doctor having previously blocked his number, and that since the present tribunal began, he had sent him intimidating texts.

Sutton raced professionally between 1982 and 1993 and the Coke can containing urine was allegedly handed to him when he was racing in Ireland by someone said to be a current coach at British Cycling.

In a statement, the national governing body said that it is “committed to clean sport and we take any allegations relating to doping very seriously.”

It added: “We urge anyone with any information regarding doping to contact UK Anti-Doping, as the UK's national anti-doping organisation.”

Freeman, who has not appeared at the hearing in Manchester since the day Sutton walked out, 12 November, has admitted all but four of 22 charges brought against him by the General Medical Council.

While he admits having ordered 30 testosterone patches that were delivered to British Cycling in 2011, he denies that they were intended for an athlete, claiming instead that Sutton had forced him to obtain them to treat the coach’s alleged erectile dysfunction.

Referring yesterday to Sutton’s departure from the hearing O’Rourke, who claims to have three witnesses who would testify to him having used performance enhancing drugs, said: “He would have been exposed in public. If he had nothing to fear he would have stayed. He knew he was going to have material put to him that he couldn't deal with.

"His evidence is tenuous, not credible and he would have been exposed as a liar and doper."

However, Simon Jackson, representing the GMC, said that her claims were not supported by evidence.

He told the tribunal: “Ms O'Rourke's focus is to attack Mr Sutton.

“Sutton's evidence in terms of his denial is supported by both [endocrinologist] Doctor Quinton and also by the available medical records, so we submit that there has been no evidence put to Sutton or Dr Quinton that contradicts the allegations.”

The hearing will resume on Friday.

Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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