Dr Richard Freeman requested for medical tribunal to be adjourned so he could help give coronavirus vaccines 

The former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor is facing a medical misconduct hearing

(Image credit: PA Wire/PA Images)

Dr Richard Freeman requested that his medical tribunal be adjourned so he could help administer the coronavirus vaccine. 

Freeman, a former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor, is facing a medical misconduct hearing over claims he ordered the 30 banned testosterone sachets that were delivered to British Cycling HQ in 2011, and then lying to cover up the order. 

The BBC reports that Freeman last week submitted a request for the hearing to be delayed again after he was asked by an NHS practice to help give Covid-19 vaccinations. 

But the request was “strongly opposed” by the General Medical Council, which has brought the case against Freeman, and the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) eventually shut down the submission, so the hearing will continue.

Freeman was asked by the NHS practice in Lancashire where he works if he could help the UK’s mass vaccination programme. 

The request, made on behalf of Freeman by his legal representatives, said: “We write to request an adjournment… to allow him [Dr Freeman] to undertake the duties that the practice wish him to. We strongly believe that the Covid crisis position should take precedence."

But the MPTS refused the request, saying the adjournment was “not in the interests of justice.” 

After years of delays and setbacks, the case resumes on Friday (January 22), where both parties will give their closing submissions, with a decision expected in March. 

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Freeman’s Medical Practitioners Tribunal hearing, being held in Manchester, centres around allegations Freeman ordered 30 testosterone sachets, which were delivered to British Cycling headquarters in Manchester in 2011, and then lied to cover up the order. 

He has admitted 18 of the 22 charges against him, but denies the banned substance was ordered for an athlete to dope, instead claiming he was “bullied” into ordering the testosterone by Shane Sutton to treat Sutton’s erectile dysfunction. Sutton denies this.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.