Shane Sutton was "lying" when he denied having any knowledge of doping, the Freeman tribunal has heard.
The medical misconduct tribunal has heard evidence from a former team-mate of Sutton, who said the former pro allegedly received £10,000 worth of performance-enhancing drugs in 1987, the year he rode the Tour de France, The Guardian reports.
Kvetoslav Palov, who raced alongside Sutton on the ANC-Halfords team that year, gave evidence on Tuesday (November 25), saying he was compelled to speak out after hearing Sutton deny having any personal experience of doping in 2016.
Palov also alleged that Sutton had used a McDonald’s toilet in Edinburgh during the 1987 Tour of Britain which had “syringes all over the place from bike riders.”
However, this was disputed by the council for the General Medical Council Simon Jackson QC, who said there was no evidence Sutton used the toilet and that the first McDonald’s in Scotland opened after the Tour of Britain in Dundee.
Freeman’s Medical Practitioners Tribunal hearing, being held in Manchester, centres around allegations Freeman ordered 30 testosterone sachets, which were delivered to British Cycling headquarters in Manchester in 2011, and then lied to cover up the order.
He has admitted 18 of the 22 charges against him, but denies the banned substance was ordered for an athlete to dope, instead claiming he was “bullied” into ordering the testosterone by Shane Sutton to treat Sutton’s erectile dysfunction. Sutton denies this.
Sutton has also denied using performance enhancing drugs during his career.
Palov said: “Shane said he had no knowledge of drugs in sport.
“Given I was a witness to drugs in the Tour de France, syringes in the toilet, it’s a bit hard to say that.”
He added: “Anyone claiming he was a professional cyclist and never saw anyone taking drugs is lying.
“Anyone who has been in and around pro cycling for so long and isn’t aware of anyone taking drugs is absolutely lying.”
Palov said he was compelled to give evidence after hearing Sutton tell the digital, culture, media and sport select committee in 2016 that he had no personal experience of being around doping during his career, as a rider or as a coach.
The Czech former pro said during the 1987 Tour de France there were “rumours that a lot of money had been spent on keeping Shane in the race.”
Palov alleged that a team worker had spent £10,000 on drugs for Sutton.
He also said that he and Sutton had been to the McDonald’s toilet together during the 1987 Tour of Britain, where the pair saw syringes from bike riders.
But under cross examination Palov admitted that he hadn’t gone to the toilet with Sutton in person.
The tribunal continues.
Alex is the digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.
Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.
Away from journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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