For­mer doc­tor to Bri­tish Cy­cling likely to face tri­bunal over testos­terone patches

The Sunday Telegraph - Sport - - Front Page - By Robert Di­neen

Bri­tish Cy­cling has been told to ex­pect a med­i­cal tri­bunal in­volv­ing its for­mer doc­tor that could have se­ri­ous con­se­quences for the sport, The Sun­day Tele­graph un­der­stands.

The gov­ern­ing body is said to have been in­formed that Richard Free­man is likely to face a Gen­eral Med­i­cal Coun­cil tri­bunal in con­nec­tion with a de­liv­ery of testos­terone patches to the team head­quar­ters in 2011. Testos­terone is on the World Anti-Dop­ing Agency’s banned list.

At the time, Free­man was part of a Bri­tish Cy­cling set-up pre­par­ing for the Lon­don 2012 Olympics, at which the team won 12 medals across road and track events, in­clud­ing eight golds.

Free­man also worked with Team Sky, who in 2011 were only a year away from Sir Bradley Wig­gins’s break­through vic­tory at the Tour de France.

If found guilty of mis­con­duct as med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner, Free­man faces a sanc­tion of any­thing be­tween a short sus­pen­sion from prac­tice to be­ing struck off the med­i­cal reg­is­ter.

There is no sug­ges­tion that any rider or coach has com­mit­ted wrong­do­ing. How­ever, UK Anti-Dop­ing could need to ex­am­ine any fresh ev­i­dence that may emerge dur­ing a tri­bunal, given the rules re­lat­ing to the pos­ses­sion of banned sub­stances by ath­lete sup­port per­son­nel.

The GMC launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter it emerged that the patches were de­liv­ered to the Na­tional Cy­cling Cen- tre in Manch­ester.

Free­man has strongly de­nied any wrong­do­ing and said that he ex­pected to clear his name in the GMC in­ves­ti­ga­tion. The patches were re­turned to their sup­plier. He told the BBC in July: “I can clear ev­ery­thing up but I am un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion about my medicines man­age­ment pol­icy and I am not at lib­erty to talk about it. Once that in­quiry is fin­ished I will talk freely about the de­liv­ery.”

A Bri­tish Cy­cling spokesman said: “Bri­tish Cy­cling re­ferred con­cerns in re­la­tion to Dr Free­man’s fit­ness to prac­tise to the GMC and we con­tinue to sup­port its on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion, in which we are co-com­plainants.” Team Sky de­clined to comment. A rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Free­man was ap­proached for a re­sponse yes­ter­day.

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