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Dr Richard Freeman tribunal: Hearing was set to get evidence from former Olympic champion Nicole Cooke


Dr Richard Freeman tribunal: Hearing was set to get evidence from former Olympic champion Nicole Cooke

By Alistair Magowan BBC Sport at the tribunal in Manchester Great Britain’s Nicole Cooke won road race gold at the 2008 Olympic GamesEvidence from former Olympic cycling champion Nicole Cooke was set to be put to Shane Sutton before the former performance director stormed out of Dr Richard Freeman’s tribunal.Freeman’s defence lawyer Mary O’Rourke QC…

By Alistair Magowan

BBC Sport at the tribunal in Manchester

Nicole Cooke

Great Britain’s Nicole Cooke won roadway race gold at the 2008 Olympic Games

Proof from previous Olympic cycling champ Nicole Cooke was set to be put to Shane Sutton prior to the previous efficiency director stormed out of Dr Richard Freeman’s tribunal.

Freeman’s defence attorney Mary O’Rourke QC made the claim as the tribunal to figure out the medic’s physical fitness to practise heard whether Sutton’s proof must be admissible.

Welsh rider Cooke, who retired in 2013, dealt with Sutton as part of the British Cycling set-up when she won gold in the road race at the 2008 Beijing Games.

O’Rourke says Sutton’s evidence must be “totally discarded” after he left the hearing too soon almost 2 weeks earlier.

She also said that if Sutton’s evidence is tossed out, the four charges versus previous Team Sky and British Cycling medic Freeman “fall apart”.

But General Medical Council lawyer Simon Jackson QC stated Sutton had actually left the hearing as a “direct repercussion” of O’Rourke’s “bullying” throughout a rainy session.

O’Rourke stated the Australian was a “serial phony” and “a doper with a doping history”.

Freeman has actually confessed 18 of 22 charges against him, made by the GMC, but rejects a key claim of ordering testosterone to British Biking headquarters in 2011 understanding or believing it was planned for an athlete.

He declares he was bullied by Sutton to order 30 sachets of Testogel for the coach’s impotence, an allegation which Sutton rejects.

Sutton, who has been a central figure to the tribunal, had actually been due to appear for 2 days but just stood for one.

But Jackson stated his departure was since he had been “put in the general public stocks” by O’Rourke, who made the “phony” and “doper” claims ahead of Sutton providing proof, knowing they would be selected up by the going to media.

He stated they were designed to “put him under pressure” and said his client left the tribunal in Manchester as a “direct repercussion of her interrogation”.

Jackson likewise stated a few of the proof put to Sutton was unjust because it came from confidential sources, however O’Rourke countered that she had the names and it was Jackson’s decision to make sure names were kept personal throughout the hearing.

She said Sutton’s dramatic exit rejected her the chance to put more evidence to him from “3 people” and from Cooke and her dad, who O’Rourke said were pleased to be named.

In the tribunal, O’Rourke explained the rider, who has actually previously been critical of Sutton, as a “previous 2002 Commonwealth Games and Olympic champ, and Shane Sutton was her coach”.

Jackson stated Sutton’s proof “ought to be confessed” provided the 62- year-old had made himself readily available for 2 days however legal argument eliminated a few of the time when he was already in Manchester.

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He dismissed O’Rourke’s claims that Sutton was a “sole and decisive” witness since he was “a denier just” instead of an “accusatory witness”.

And he also stated his client had addressed questions related to the case.

A furious O’Rourke then said it was “fantastic” that Jackson’s submissions consisted of “not a word about Sutton’s dreadful behaviour in the witness box”.

She included: “He was threatening me, and threatening Richard Freeman.”

The tribunal is set to discuss the applications by both sides on Tuesday, with O’Rourke set to make an application to have the four charges thrown out based on the result.

Freeman, who left British Biking in 2017, has actually admitted 18 charges which consist of purchasing the Testogel to the National Biking Centre, trying to conceal the order and lying to a UK Anti-Doping examination.

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