Richard Freeman downloaded research data before ordering testosterone patches

One academic article was downloaded a month before he made the order for Testogel

Dr Richard Freeman (second left) with QC Mary O'Rourke (left) and his defence team after appearing at a hearing at the misconduct hearing (Picture: PA Wire/PA Images)

Former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman downloaded research data from a website detailing testosterone-boosting drugs before he ordered Testogel, his medical tribunal heard on Wednesday.

30 sachets of the banned product were sent to the headquarters of British Cycling and Team Sky, and while he admits he ordered them he also claims they were for Shane Sutton and not a rider.

>>> Everything you need to know about Dr Richard Freeman’s medical tribunal

The tribunal, being conducted by the General Medical Council (GMC), heard how Freeman downloaded medical articles concerning testosterone-boosting drugs after his laptops were seized by investigators.

One article concerned viagra, which can increase testosterone in men, which was downloaded in April 2011, a month before he ordered the Testogel.

Freeman also apparently downloaded a 2008 article about how endurance sports effects men's testosterone levels.

Freeman has claimed he was bullied into ordering Testogel by Sutton, British Cycling's head coach at the time, to treat his erectile dysfunction, a claim Sutton strongly denies.

The order was made with Oldham-based supplier Fit4Sport, which Dr Freeman has admitted to making and then lying to cover up. The tribunal is now investigating whether he made the order "knowing or believing" it would be given to an athlete to dope.

Professor David Cowan, an anti-doping expert, said at the tribunal that he "noted with interest the monitoring of levels of testosterone in the blood of cyclists" by Freeman and others.

He said the information garnered from the seized laptop "indicated a lot of knowledge and interest of testosterone concentration in riders".

Freeman has admitted to 18 of the 22 charges GMC have brought before him and the doctor faces being struck off. The tribunal is scheduled to run until December 20.

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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.