Richard Freeman guilty of ordering testosterone for an unknown rider

Two year long tribunal announces verdict and reasoning.

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The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) has found Dr Richard Freeman guilty of ordering 30 sachets of Testogel testosterone patches. They believe the drug in question was ordered with the intent to administer it to an athlete with the hope of improving their athletic performance.

Dr Freeman, the former chief doctor for both Team Sky and British Cycling, faced 22 charges related to incidents in May 2011. These allegations included; purchasing a prohibited substance, lying to UK Anti-Doping, untrue statements and communications to conceal his conduct, inappropriately provided medical treatment to non–riding staff, failing to maintain an adequate record management system, and inappropriate management of prescription-only medications.

Sean Ingle of The Guardian tweeted quoting the full MPTS report, “Taking all those factors into account and bearing in mind the breadth of Dr Freeman’s dishonesty and the number of people he had pulled into it (Ms Meats, Dr Peters & Mr Sutton), the Tribunal found his conduct incapable of innocent explanation.”

Dr Freeman had previously admitted to 18 of the allegations, including ordering Testogel but denied knowing it was for an athlete. Dr Freeman denied the remaining four charges, including ordering the Testogel specifically for an athlete to improve performance.

The defence had argued Shane Sutton, former British Cycling and Team Sky head coach, had bullied Dr Freeman into ordering the banned substance to treat Sutton’s erectile dysfunction. Shane Sutton vehemently denied this claim and stormed out of the tribunal in November 2019. 

The tribunal has been active since February 2019, with many delays and sometimes farcical claims, including loss or destruction of laptops. It will reconvene on March 17th to decide on Dr Freeman’s fitness to practice. The tribunal is set to meet again in April to decide if Dr Freeman should retain his doctor’s license or receive any further punishments. 

Dr Freeman may also face a UK Anti-Doping Agency enquiry relating to the charge of lying to UK Anti-Doping, tantamount to tampering with an investigation. If found guilty, Dr Freeman could face a four-year ban regardless of whether or not he intends to return to sport. 

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