Former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman "crossed the line and went way beyond it" when he purchased banned testosterone for an unnamed rider, his medical tribunal has been told.
The hearing resumed on Friday, despite Freeman having asked to have it adjourned once more so he could help administer the coronavirus vaccine at the NHS practice in Lancashire where he works, which was "strongly opposed" by the General Medical Council.
The tribunal heard the start of the summing up of the GMC's case against Freeman, where Simon Jackson QC accused Freeman of being ready to break anti-doping rules in order to succeed, saying: "There is a truism in life that it isn’t the lie that gets you, it’s the cover-up. And what a cover-up it has been," as reported in the Guardian (opens in new tab).
Freeman denies ordering the banned Testogel in order to dope a rider, instead saying it was for former Team Sky and British Cycling coach Shane Sutton to treat his erectile dysfunction. Jackson accused Freeman of "knowing or believing" the banned Testogel was ordered to improve an athlete's performance, as well as then lying to conceal his motives, also saying it was "inconceivable" Freeman didn't know about the benefits of testosterone to performance.
"As the lead team doctor he was under pressure – as all doctors were – to have riders fit and ready to deliver the expected performance and the expected results," Jackson said of the reason why Freeman was prepared to dope a rider by ordering 30 Testogel sachets to the National Cycling Centre almost 10 years ago. "He was also a risk-taker. And he was knowingly prepared to put others at risk with his prescribing practices in respect of riders, but always did it standing behind their stated consent to the medication which he provided."
The tribunal will continue on Monday, where both parties will give their closing submissions, and a decision is expected in March after years of delays and setbacks.
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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