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Mystery deepens over teststerone package delivered to British Cycling HQ

Dr Richard Freeman’s medical tribunal heard how mystery still surrounds the package of testosterone delivered to the Manchester Velodrome in 2011. Credit: PA

A senior member of British Cycling’s management team during the glory years painted a picture during a hearing of an organisation that, along with Team Sky, put medals ahead of athlete welfare.

The revelations came as Dr Richard Freeman’s medical tribunal heard how mystery still surrounds the package of testosterone delivered to the Manchester Velodrome in 2011.

Dr Steve Peters, head of medicine at the time admitted he did not believe it was, as Freeman says, for former coach Shane Sutton.

"My relationship with Shane was up and down but he’s an open book.

"Shane himself came to me many times; I just didn’t understand why he didn’t want to confide in me.

"It didn’t add up."

He later said: "I feel I’m trying to solve the crime here.

"I’ve got a man who’s lied to me and another man who’s untrustworthy."

Shane Sutton trackside for the China Team during day two of the TISSOT UCI Track Cycling World Cup. Credit: PA

Freeman allowed Peters to conduct a newspaper interview saying the delivery was an honest mistake, when he knew that not to be the truth.

Sutton has always denied that the testosterone was for him, Peters said on Thursday it was feasible that Freeman was actually ordering it for himself.

He said he had reason to come to that conclusion but would not go into it in public.

On the climate at the time, Peters said he had received many complaints from staff about Sutton’s behaviour while he worked at British Cycling, saying: "They found him bullying or intimidating".

He explained: "With any team you get interpersonal conflict.

"The only member of staff I can recall where there were accusations of bullying was about Shane.

"I had a quite unpleasant confrontation with him at the holding camp before the 2012 Olympics.

"He gets so intense about the standards of the team; he takes it very personally."

Peters revealed that when Sutton tried to correct his behaviour, it wouldn’t last long.

"He had a tendency to be emotionally unstable and when he was, he could lash out.

"He would show remorse but couldn’t help himself and would do it again."

The tribunal heard that this behaviour would happen when Sutton was under pressure.

Lottery funding was dependent on success and Peters agreed he couldn’t really manage his own emotions and Peters had to "intervene quite a lot and pull him back into line repeatedly".

But not once in his evidence did Peters agree that Sutton "bullied" Freeman.

"I don’t recall him ever saying ‘I was bullied and in a terrible place’."

Sutton of course cut his own evidence short this week, pulling out of a second day of interrogation on Thursday.

On Tuesday he stormed out of the tribunal refusing to answer any more questions from the QC defending Freeman, Mary O’Rourke.

The General Medical Council (GMC) claims Freeman ordered the testosterone for use by a rider, Peters casts doubt on that theory: "The GMC has made a huge leap because they concluded if there was no clinical need for the testosterone, it must have been for an athlete."