Dr Richard Freeman’s medical tribunal delayed again – this time until spring 2020

The hearing has been plagued by delays and setbacks

(Image credit: PA Wire/PA Images)

Dr Richard Freeman’s medical tribunal has been delayed until spring 2020, adding to a catalogue of delays and setbacks.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) hearing is investigation misconduct claims against the former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor over a mystery testosterone delivery.

In 2011, Dr Freeman ordered testosterone gel to British Cycling headquarters in Manchester and then attempted to cover up the order, with the General Medical Council accusing him of making the order knowing or believing it would be given to an athlete to dope.

A statement from the MPTS said: “The tribunal has announced its decision to adjourn the hearing following an application on behalf of Dr Freeman.

“The full decision was handed down in private.”

The hearing got underway in October, but the process has been marred by delays and legal arguments, with the tribunal announcing on Tuesday morning (December 17) that proceedings would be put on hold until April 28, 2020 because Dr Freeman is unwell.

According to the tribunal, the hearing will reconvene on Tuesday April 28 next year and run until Friday, May 29, before restarting once again on Monday, October 5 until Friday, October 16 2020.

The process had already been delayed from February, with Dr Freeman admitting to 18 of the 22 charges against him as soon as the hearing got under way in October.

He denies ordering the testosterone to enhance an athlete’s performance.

The tribunal has been unable to get to the bottom of the testosterone delivery, as Freeman claimed he was bullied into making the order for Shane Sutton to treat Sutton’s erectile dysfunction. Sutton denies any knowledge of the order.

Earlier this month, Freeman’s lawyer failed in a bid to have the charges against him thrown out.

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Mary O’Rourke, Freeman’s lawyer, had argued there was insufficient evidence in the case against her client.

The panel at Freeman’s tribunal made the decision not to throw out the charges because “there is a case to answer”, adding that Freeman’s initial denial of ordering the drug before admitting he had lied, claiming the testogel was ordered for a member of British Cycling staff, showed a “pattern of admitted dishonesty”.

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