British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman offers no defence in doping case

Freeman has informed UKAD that he would not be defending himself against testosterone charges

British Cycling doctor RIchard Freeman ahead of the Rio Olympic Games 2016
(Image credit: Bryn Lennon / Getty)

Former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman is to put forward no defence in his current UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) case.

According to the Times, Freeman had been due to attend a hearing last month, but informed UKAD that he would not be defending himself.

The two UKAD rule violations Freeman is alleged to have committed are "possession of prohibited substances and/or prohibited methods" and "tampering or attempted tampering with any part of doping control".

Freeman was struck off the medical register by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in 2021, having being found to have ordered testosterone "knowing or believing" it would be administered to an unnamed rider to enhance performance.

The UKAD case came after an appeal launched by the 63-year-old was rejected by the high court in January.

His decision not to offer any defence leaves Freeman open to a doping ban of four years or more.

In 2021, Freeman admitted 18 of the 22 charges brought against him by the tribunal, including purchasing the banned Testogel and lying to UKAD, in a case that had dragged on for two years since February 2019.

But Freeman had denied the four charges relating to the delivery of testosterone to British Cycling  and Team Sky HQ in June 2011. He was cleared of one – that he ordered Testogel when he "knew it was not clinically indicated for the non-athlete member of staff".

He also claimed the testosterone was ordered at the request of former coach Shane Sutton, to treat the Australian former Team Sky coach and then British Cycling technical director for erectile dysfunction. Sutton strongly refuted the claims, according to court transcripts.

In his witness statement to the tribunal, Freeman admitted lying, "to UKAD, to my solicitor and legal team", which amounts to the tampering charge in the UKAD case.

A British cycling spokesman said after Freeman's failed appeal: A British Cycling spokesperson said on Monday: “As we said at the time of the initial verdict, the decision confirms our own findings that Richard Freeman failed in his duties as a doctor, and supports our decision to refer him to the General Medical Council for further investigation."

BC added that it had made considerable progress in its medical services since Freeman's suspension, pointing to its becoming one of the first sports medical facilities to achieve membership of the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

“Ensuring that British Cycling remains at the forefront of our sector in this area will continue to be a key priority for us, and under the leadership of our Chief Medical Officer, Dr Nigel Jones, we are incredibly proud of the support we are providing to our riders and wider sport," it said.

Freeman has been contacted for comment.

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After cutting his teeth on local and national newspapers, James began at Cycling Weekly as a sub-editor in 2000 when the current office was literally all fields. 

Eventually becoming chief sub-editor, in 2016 he switched to the job of full-time writer, and covers news, racing and features.

A lifelong cyclist and cycling fan, James's racing days (and most of his fitness) are now behind him. But he still rides regularly, both on the road and on the gravelly stuff.