'I was used as a scapegoat' says Shane Sutton after Freeman guilty verdict

Shane Sutton maintains that neither he nor Dave Brailsford knew about the testosterone order

Dave Brailsford and Shane Sutton at the Manchester Velodrome on November 2013 (Getty)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Shane Sutton has said he is disappointed he was used as a scapegoat in the Dr Richard Freeman saga after his former British Cycling and Team Sky colleague was found guilty of ordering testosterone ‘knowing or believing’ it was to help dope a rider.

Sutton, who was performance director at the time Freeman ordered the banned drug Testogel to British Cycling and Team Sky Manchester HQ in June 2011, with Freeman claiming he was bullied into ordering it to treat Sutton's erectile dysfunction. Sutton denied these claims and the GMC also raised doubts in their report about whether Sutton had sent bullying texts messages as Freeman had failed to provide any evidence supporting that claim, as well as saying it believes Sutton to have been a credible witness during the case.

>>> Ineos Grenadiers respond to Richard Freeman guilty verdict

Sutton has now issued his own statement, saying he is "disappointed that he was used as a scapegoat", while maintaining that neither he nor Dave Brailsford were aware of the order containing 30 sachets of Testogel.

"I'm saddened by the whole affair," Sutton said in a statement to the Daily Mail.

"I feel for the doctor; that he ever got into this situation, and I remain disappointed that I was used as a scapegoat. It has caused great pain to both me and my family. But it also saddens me that this episode has cast a huge shadow over the success we enjoyed, both at Team Sky and British Cycling.

"I'd like to stress that neither I nor Sir Dave Brailsford knew about the testosterone order. But I think it's important to find out who the doctor ordered it for. Hopefully that will emerge from the investigation by UK Anti-Doping."

While Freeman's tribunal will continue on March 17 to decide whether he will struck off as a medical practitioner, UK Anti-Doping have provisionally suspended Freeman from involvement in all sport.

"UKAD acknowledges today’s decision of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal in the case of Dr Richard Freeman," UKAD Chief Executive, Nicole Sapstead, said.

"Following the announcement, UKAD can confirm that Dr Richard Freeman has been charged under the UK Anti-Doping Rules (UK ADR) with two violations - Possession of Prohibited Substances and/or Prohibited Methods and Tampering or Attempted Tampering with any part of Doping Control.

"While the charges are pending, Dr Freeman is subject to a provisional suspension from all sport."

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.

Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).

I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.