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