Despite having been found guilty by the General Medical Council of ordering testosterone “knowing or believing” it was to dope a rider, Richard Freeman continues to protest his innocence, saying he is “not a doping doctor”.
Speaking out for the first time since the tribunal’s verdict on Friday (March 12), Freeman told the Daily Mail the rider he supposedly administered the testosterone to doesn’t exist, but accepts that due to the lies he told during the tribunal that there are people who “can’t trust anything I say”.
“It’s so disappointing,” Freeman told the newspaper. “It’s unbelievable. I have never doped a rider in my life. I’m still to see any evidence of who this rider supposedly was. I accept there are people who don’t believe me. They will say I’ve lied and changed my story and can’t trust anything I say. I’ve admitted to those lies.”
This line is similar to the one put out by Team Ineos following the guilty verdict, the WorldTour team saying they did not believe there was any evidence of athletes using or seeking to use the 30 sachets of banned Testogel ordered to the Manchester HQ in 2011.
“And, yes, I deserved the GMC tribunal. But I can say with a clear conscience that I didn’t order Testogel knowing or believing it was for cheating,” Freeman continued, arguing against the guilty verdict.
“We [Team Sky and British Cycling] were more interested in spending money on ceramic bearings instead of a medical records system. I’m still shocked at this verdict. I’ve made plenty of mistakes but I’m not a doping doctor. The reputations of many good people are under a cloud and that’s just not fair, not least on them.”
A further verdict from the GMC is set for March 17 to decide whether Freeman will be struck off as a medical practitioner. Currently, he is working at an NHS practice just outside Blackburn helping to administer the Covid vaccine.