Cycling Team Doctor to Face Charges Over Testosterone

Peter Russell

January 16, 2019

The former team doctor for athletes at the British Cycling Federation and Team Sky, Dr Richard Freeman, will face a charge next month that he ordered testosterone to enhance sporting performance.

Pre-hearing information released this week by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) outlined several allegations of dishonesty levelled against Dr Freeman.

The tribunal will inquire into the allegation that, on 16th May 2011, he ordered 30 sachets of topical testosterone drug Testogel (Besins Healthcare) from Fit4Sport Limited for delivery to the Manchester Velodrome/National Cycling Centre in Manchester.

The use of testosterone by athletes is prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

GMC Investigation

It is further alleged that on 18th May 2011 Dr Freeman made untrue statements when he denied making the order and advised that it had been made in error.

Dr Freeman was charged following an investigation by the General Medical Council (GMC).

The independent tribunal will also inquire into an allegation that in October 2011, Dr Freeman contacted an individual at Fit4Sport Limited and asked for written confirmation that the order had been sent in error, returned and would be destroyed by Fit4Sport Limited, knowing that this had not taken place. It is further alleged that during the same month, Dr Freeman showed the email to others, despite knowing that its content was untrue.

The tribunal will further inquire into the allegation that during an interview with UK Anti-Doping in February 2017, Dr Freeman falsely claimed that Testogel had been ordered for a non-athlete member of staff.

Medical Records 'Failures'

The GMC also claims that Dr Freeman failed to maintain an adequate record management system. The tribunal will also examine an allegation that he failed to ensure that the records on a laptop, which was stolen from him in August 2014, could be retrieved.

The delivery of the banned substance to the national velodrome was revealed by The Sunday Times in March 2017.

Dr Freeman was at the centre of the so-called 'Jiffy bag' incident which involved a package sent to Team Sky during the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné cycling race in France.

In November 2017, an investigation by WADA concluded that no anti-doping charges should be brought in relation to the package.

In an interview for the BBC last year, Dr Freeman denied any wrongdoing in respect of the delivery of testosterone to the velodrome.

The MPTS hearing is scheduled to begin on 6th February 2019.

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