Former British Cycling doctor calls doping ruling ‘unbelievable’

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Former British Cycling and Team Sky chief doctor Richard Freeman insists he has “never doped a rider” after revealing his shock at the ruling of a Medical Practitioners Tribunal over him ordering banned testosterone.

Dr Freeman had admitted 18 of 22 charges against him relating to the ordering of a package of Testogel to British Cycling headquarters in 2011, but denied the central charge regarding its purpose.

After a hearing lasting more than two years, decisions on the contested charges were issued by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service on Friday.

Richard Freeman worked for British Cycling and Team Sky
Richard Freeman worked for British Cycling and Team Sky (Tim Goode/PA)

In making its decision, the tribunal said Dr Freeman’s evidence was “implausible” and “dishonest” and that his conduct was “incapable of innocent explanation”.

Dr Freeman claimed he had been bullied into ordering the testosterone to treat former performance director Shane Sutton’s erectile dysfunction, which the Australian strenuously denied on an explosive day of testimony in 2019.

Sutton stormed out before completing his evidence, calling Dr Freeman a liar and a “spineless individual”, but the tribunal found him to be a credible and consistent witness.

  • Dr Freeman admitted 18 of 22 charges
  • Denied he had ordered Testogel for the purposes of doping
  • Claimed order was to treat Shane Sutton’s erectile dysfunction
  • Former performance director Sutton strenuously denied claim
  • Tribunal found Testogel order was made knowing or believing it was to be given to a rider for the purposes of doping.
  • Tribunal will sit next week to determine sanctions.

“It’s so disappointing. It’s unbelievable,” Dr Freeman said of the tribunal’s ruling.

“I have never doped a rider in my life. I’m still to see any evidence of who this rider supposedly was.

“I accept there are people who don’t believe me. They will say I’ve lied and changed my story and can’t trust anything I say. I’ve admitted to those lies.”

“And, yes, I deserved the GMC tribunal, but I can say with a clear conscience that I didn’t order Testogel knowing or believing it was for cheating.”

Dr Freeman added: “I’m still shocked at this verdict. I’ve made plenty of mistakes, but I’m not a doping doctor.”

The tribunal will sit again next week to assess whether Dr Freeman’s fitness to practice is impaired because of his misconduct.

Dr Freeman is also facing two UKAD charges regarding the ordering of the testosterone.

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