A British MP has called for Dave Brailsford to be suspended by Ineos pending a full investigation into how former Team Sky doctor, Richard Freeman, came to order testosterone ‘knowing or believing’ it was to help dope a rider. Ineos Genadiers have denied any wrongdoing.
“Until this is cleared up, all those involved shouldn’t be anywhere near the sport,” former shadow sports minister, Clive Efford, who is now a member of the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport select committee, told the Telegraph.
“Clearly, there are questions to be answered and people should be suspended while this is properly investigated.”
After contesting four of the 22 charges brought against him by the General Medical Council, admitting to the other 18, including purchasing the banned drug Testogel and lying to the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD), the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) said parts of Freeman’s explanations of the case “stretched credulity” and that “the motive for your action was to conceal your conduct”.
Following the MPTS verdict, UKAD announced Dr Freeman would be provisionally suspended from all sport as it charged him with two violations, ‘Possession of Prohibited Substances and/or Prohibited Methods and Tampering or Attempted Tampering with any part of Doping Control’.
Efford has added that the ruling against Freeman has shown Team Sky’s “zero tolerance” approach to performance-enhancing drugs is nothing more than “a tissue of lies” and that Brailsford now has questions to answer.
“Dave Brailsford gave reassurances about how clean his teams were and unless he was in full control of what was going on, he couldn’t make those assurances,” Efford said.
“We have to question, if he didn’t know, why didn’t he? And if it was possible for this to happen, how could he have given assurances that his team was clean?”
Mary O’Rourke QC asked during the tribunal why Brailsford hadn’t been called to give evidence.
“Dave Brailsford is the spectre missing at these proceedings,” she said. “He would have been able to answer an awful lot of questions about what was going on at British Cycling and Team Sky. He was never called.”
In response to the Freeman verdict, Team Ineos said in a statement: “The Team fully supports the work of the GMC and it is very clear from their report that Richard Freeman fell short of the ethical standards required of him as a doctor and acted dishonestly.
“However the Team does not believe that any athlete ever used or sought to use Testogel or any other performance enhancing substance. No evidence has been provided that this ever happened or that there has been any wrongdoing by any athlete at any point. We will continue to give our full support and co-operation to UKAD, as we have done throughout this process, as they continue to investigate his conduct. We will not be making any further comment.”