Dr Richard Freeman could still face a doping charge over the testosterone delivery, despite the eight-year delay in proceedings.
The former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor is currently facing a medical misconduct tribunal over allegations he ordered the banned substance to the BC headquarters in 2011.
Freeman has admitted in a written statement that he ordered the testosterone to the National Cycling Centre in Manchester, but denies the product was intended for an athlete.
According to a report from The Times newspaper, Freeman could still face sanction by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) despite concerns the authority had missed its chance to charge him.
The long delays to the process had sparked concerns that Freeman could escape action because the eight-year statute of limitations that existed in 2011 had passed.
But sources told The Times that UKAD can apply the 10-year limit, introduced in 2015, if it wishes to issue charges. This has been confirmed by UKAD’s legal experts, according to the report.
After months of delay, Dr Freeman’s Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) misconduct hearing is finally underway and will investigate why the testosterone delivery was made and whether Dr Freeman ordered the substance with the intention of giving it to an athlete to dope.
During the first day of the misconduct hearing, held in Manchester on Monday (October 29), Dr Freeman’s legal representative Mary O’Rourke QC said her client will admit to ordering the substance and to telling a lot of lies, but will deny acquiring the testosterone to improve an athlete’s performance.
Freeman has admitted 19 of the 22 GMC charges, denying that the 30 testosterone sachets were ordered for an athlete to dope.
According to The Times, Freeman will claim that he ordered the testosterone for former British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton.
Sutton denies this claim however, saying he knew nothing of the testosterone delivery until he was interviewed by UKAD.
Rules set down by the World Anti-Doping Agency in 2009 mean there is an eight-year time limit on taking action against anyone involved in suspected anti-doping violations, however UKAD has sought legal advice which suggests it could take action against Freeman under the longer time limit introduced in 2015.
The tribunal continues next week.
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