Banned testosterone patches reportedly ordered on purpose by former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor

General Medical Council obtain evidence that banned patches were intentionally delivered to British Cycling and Team Sky HQ

Dr Richard Freeman is under investigation by the General Medical Council
(Image credit: Simon Wilkinson/

Testosterone patches which turned up at British Cycling and Team Sky headquarters in 2011 may have been ordered intentionally, according to reports.

As reported by the Daily Mail, an investigation into former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Dr Richard Freeman by the General Medical Council (GMC) has uncovered evidence that the testosterone was ordered for delivery to the National Cycling Centre in Manchester in 2011, and not delivered as a result of an "administrative error", as has been previously claimed.

The GMC has also reportedly found that there was an attempt to cover up the order of the testosterone patches, with Fit 4 Sport Ltd, the Oldham supplier of the patches, being asked to send an email saying that the package had been sent in error.

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News of the delivery of a box of testosterone patches to the British Cycling and Team Sky headquarters in Manchester emerged in March 2017, when Dr Steve Peters, who was head of medicine for British Cycling at the time and now serves as Team Sky's psychiatrist, made the claim that the package was the result of an "administrative error" by the supplier.

However Dr Freeman told a UK Anti-Doping investigation in May that the patches were not intended for use by riders.

Dr Freeman is the subject of a GMC inquiry focussing on his work as a medical professional after it emerged that he had not kept proper medical records during his time at Team Sky, which resulted in UKAD being unable to confirm the contents of a mysterious Jiffy bag which was delivered to the team at the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné. He resigned from British Cycling in October 2017 citing ill-health.

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The use of testosterone by athletes is banned at all times by the World Anti-Doping Agency due to its effects increasing strength and endurance, and improving recovery.

Testosterone patches are intended to be used by men who are unable to naturally produce enough of the hormone, and are placed on the skin with the medication absorbed through the skin and into the blood.

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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.