The doctor at the centre of the controversy surrounding the contents of a Jiffy bag delivered to Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky at the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné has resigned from British Cycling citing ill health.
Doctor Richard Freeman, who was suspended by British Cycling after failing to give evidence to the a parliamentary select committee investigating doping in sport, has had his resignation accepted by the sport’s national governing body as he recovers from an apparently “stress-related” illness.
In a statement, British Cycling said that although it accepted Dr Freeman’s resignation, it hoped that he would be able to help with ongoing investigations once he has returned to good health.
“We regret that we have not been able to reconcile all unanswered questions whilst he was in our employment but we continue to work closely with UKAD as we are intent on bringing their investigation to a satisfactory conclusion,” the statement read.
“We hope that upon his return to health, Richard can do his part to help bring to a close ongoing investigations.”
Dr Freeman has been at the centre of attention since UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) launched an investigation into the contents of a Jiffy bag delivered to Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky at the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné. Giving evidence to the Culture, Media, and Sport Select Committee, Dave Brailsford insisted that the package contained the decongestant Fluimucil, however Dr Freeman’s poorly kept medical records have meant that British Cycling have been unable to prove that this was indeed the case.
Controversy has also surrounded why Dr Freeman ordered large quantities of testosterone patches and triamcinolone – a corticosteroid banned without a therapeutic use exemption – while working for Team Sky and British Cycling in 2011, with no medical records to say why such large quantities were necessary, or to answer why he had apparently injected other staff members, including Dave Brailsford with corticosteroids.
Speaking to the Guardian, British Cycling chief executive Julia Harrington said that her organisation would be continuing to cooperate with the UKAD investigation, and that she hoped Dr Freeman would do the same.
“We were investigating him on employment matters and UKAD were investigating him on doping matters,” Harrington said. “After some months we were ready to continue with disciplinary action. Dr Freeman really wasn’t well enough to commence that and so we’ve allowed him to resign.
“We continue to support UKAD and when Dr Freeman is better I would hope he would continue to support UKAD with any ongoing investigation.
“It is an area that for the sake of our current riders, membership and reputation of our sport, that I would have hoped to have brought to a tidier end, but we also have a duty of care to him as an employee.”