Dr Richard Freeman will admit deliberately ordering banned testosterone patches and “telling a lot of lies” during his medical tribunal.
The former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor is facing a misconduct hearing over a mystery package containing the banned substance which was delivered to the BC headquarters in 2011.
After months of delay, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) 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.
The Daily Mail (opens in new tab) also reports that Dr Freeman is expected to argue that the substance was ordered for a non-athlete member of staff.
Dr Freeman faces a raft of misconduct allegations, including that on May 16, 2011 he ordered 30 sachets of Testogel from Fit4Sport Limited to the Manchester Velodrome, British Cycling's headquarters.
He is also accused of making untrue statements when he denied making the order and suggested the order had been made by mistake.
Dr Freeman is then alleged to have contacted Fit4Sport Limited in October 2011, requesting written confirmation that the order have been sent in error, returned and would be destroyed by the company, knowing this was not true.
Dr Freemen then showed the email to others, knowing the contents were untrue, according to the allegations.
The tribunal was also due hear evidence around allegations that Dr Freeman made untrue statements to the UK Anti-Doping organisation in an interview in February 2017, when he said that the Testogel had been ordered for a non-athlete member of staff and had been returned to Fit4Sport Limited.
It is further alleged that Dr Freeman’s motive for ordering the Testogel was to administer it to an athlete to improve their athletic performance.
The tribunal would also inquire into the allegation that, during his time as team doctor for athletes at British Cycling and Team Sky, Dr Freeman inappropriately provided medical treatment that did not constitute first aid to non-athlete members of staff. He also allegedly failed to inform three patients’ GPs of medication prescribed and reasons for prescribing.
Dr Freeman is also accused of failing to keep an adequate record management system, that his management of prescription-only medication was inappropriate and that he failed to ensure records on a laptop, which was stolen from him in August 2014, could be retrieved.
He has since given a new witness statement, made on September 24 this year, in which he admitted ordering the Testogel.
Dr Freeman, who previously denied all allegations against him, was initially due to face the MPTS misconduct hearing earlier this year, but the proceedings never got started as legal arguments were heard behind closed doors.
In March, the MPTS announced that the case would be adjourned to be considered by a new tribunal at a later date.
The tribunal service then confirmed that the hearing would be held from October 28 until December 20.
The hearing is set to continue on Monday (November 4).
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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.
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