'Disappointment' as Cycling Doctor's Tribunal Case Adjourned

Peter Russell

March 06, 2019

The tribunal investigating the case of former British Cycling Federation doctor, Dr Richard Freeman, has been adjourned.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) announced its decision on Tuesday in private session. No further details about the adjournment were made available.

The General Medical Council (GMC) said the adjournment was "frustrating", and British Cycling expressed its disappointment at the decision.

Dr Freeman, who was also doctor for Team Sky, is facing a charge that he ordered testosterone to enhance sporting performance.

The MPTS said the case would be relisted and heard by a new tribunal in due course.

Public Interest

A statement said: "We believe it is in the public interest, and the interest of everybody involved in a case, for hearings to be completed as quickly as possible. We will be working with the parties to relist this hearing at the earliest opportunity.

"Before any hearing, the MPTS works with both the doctor’s representatives and the GMC to identify any preliminary matter and put in place measures to resolve known issues in advance.

"Our aim is to reduce delays wherever possible for the benefit of all concerned. However, parties may make preliminary applications to the tribunal at the start of a hearing and, when that happens, the tribunal must rule on these before they can hear the allegation against a doctor."

Pre-hearing information released in January outlined a number of allegations against Dr Freeman, including charges that in 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).

A further allegation involved dishonesty when he later claimed the order had been made in error.

The GMC also claimed that Dr Freeman failed to maintain an adequate record management system.

'Frustrating'

The MPTS hearing was due to begin on Wednesday 6th February but was delayed by 48 hours at the request of Dr Freeman's legal representative. Following the decision to adjourn, the tribunal chair said in a statement that there were "other considerations we have to take into account".

After yesterday's adjournment, a GMC spokesperson said: "It is frustrating that this case has not yet got underway.

"We remain ready to open our case in public and hope we will be permitted to do so as soon as possible."

A spokesperson for British Cycling said: "It is in the public interest and in the best interests of the sport that the allegations against Dr Richard Freeman are heard and examined openly by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service.

"We are therefore extremely disappointed that the hearing has been adjourned.

"British Cycling is a co-referrer in this case and we will continue to support the General Medical Council’s work as there remain historic questions to be answered."

Comments

3090D553-9492-4563-8681-AD288FA52ACE
Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.
Post as:

processing....