Panel rules Ex-Team Sky and British Cycling doctor ordered testosterone for cyclist

Dr. Richard Freeman accepted 18 of 22 charges against him after years-long inquiry.

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Ex-Team Sky and British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman ordered banned testosterone knowing or believing it was to be given to a rider for the purposes of doping, a medical tribunal ruled on Friday.

Freeman accepted 18 of 22 charges against him relating to the ordering of a package of Testogel to British Cycling headquarters in 2011 but denied the central charge regarding its purpose.

Reporter Sean Ingle of The Guardian tweeted out the finding of the tribunal on Friday morning.

After a hearing lasting more than two years, decisions on the contested charges were issued by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service. The panel did not reveal the name of any other cyclist or staff member as part of its ruling.

“The tribunal had found that you, Dr. Freeman, placed the order, and obtained the Testogel, knowing or believing it was to be administered to an athlete to improve their athletic performance,” stated chair of the tribunal Neil Dalton. “The motive for your action was to conceal a conduct.”

The verdict will raise questions over the past practices employed by the British team, who have been dominant at recent Olympics, as well Team Sky, which rose to prominence during the decade of the 2010s. There was no official reaction Friday from team officials, now called Ineos Grenadiers.

Freeman, who was simultaneously employed by British Cycling and Team Sky — now Ineos Grenadiers — between 2009 and 2015, resigned from British Cycling in 2017 because of ill health.

Freeman claimed the testosterone had been ordered to treat former performance director Shane Sutton’s erectile dysfunction, which the Australian strenuously denied.

The tribunal will sit again next week to determine what sanctions Freeman will face and whether he will be deemed unfit to continue to practice medicine.

It was announced last month that he is also facing two UK Anti-Doping charges relating to the ordering of the testosterone.

— AFP contributed to this report

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