Freeman MPTS Hearing Delayed Again

Ian Leonard

January 28, 2021

MANCHESTER—The long-running medical tribunal involving former British Cycling and Team Sky chief doctor Richard Freeman has been delayed once again.

The tribunal, which began in February 2020, had been due to hear closing submissions from Dr Freeman's QC Mary O'Rourke this week.

But in the latest twist to the saga, which has seen frequent delays caused in part by the doctor's ill health, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) said the case had been adjourned due to "unforeseen circumstances" not related to the doctor.

It will now reconvene on 6 February, with a further hearing scheduled for 12 February and a decision expected on 2 March.

Dr Freeman is accused of ordering banned testosterone to the national velodrome in May 2011 in order to dope a rider.


 

'Web of Deceit'

He's admitted 18 of 22 charges against him, which include lying after attempting to cover up the order and lying to a UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) investigation.

He's also admitted charges of prescribing medicine to non-athlete members of staff and failing to maintain adequate records.

But he denies placing the order - consisting of 30 sachets of Testogel -  "knowing or believing it was to be used by an athlete to improve performance" and claims it was intended for head coach Shane Sutton to help treat his erectile dysfunction.

Mr Sutton has denied this and claims Dr Freeman is lying.

In his closing submissions, Simon Jackson, for the GMC, said there was no evidence the Testogel was clinically indicated for Mr Sutton and he dismissed Dr Freeman's claims that he'd been "bullied" into placing the order by the coach.

Mr Jackson told the tribunal that Dr Freeman had repeatedly told lies and tried to cover up his real reasons for placing the order, involving others in his "web of deceit".

He said the doctor had been under pressure to achieve success and wanted to demonstrate he was a "risk-taker".

Moreover, he'd looked at "what the riders wanted" and didn't focus on what the anti-doping code prevented.

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