MANCHESTER—The former medical doctor for British Cycling and Team Sky has told a tribunal he had not read the crucial guidance on anti-doping rules when he ordered a prohibited substance.
Dr Richard Freeman admits ordering sachets of Testogel to the Velodrome in Manchester in May 2011 but insists he was bullied into obtaining it for coach Shane Sutton to help with his erectile dysfunction.
Today Dr Freeman continued his evidence at the Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal Service where he denied Testogel was ordered for an athlete and said the suggestion was “offensive”. He also claimed for the first time, after giving three separate statements, that he had destroyed the package at the time.
Previously Dr Freeman had already admitted lying in the aftermath, getting an employee of Fit For Sport to say the drug had been sent in error, and a series of poor record keeping.
Earlier in the week he claimed Mr Sutton swore him to secrecy about his erectile dysfunction. He says he got him Viagra and Cialis to deal with the condition and claimed he wrote him a prescription which his personal assistant would use to pick up packages from Asda or Boots.
Representing the General Medical Council, Simon Jackson QC asked Dr Freeman how this squared with his claim that Mr Sutton was secretive about it.
Dr Freeman said the details of the prescription would only be known by the pharmacist and it would be placed in a sealed bag.
He was then asked about how records would be kept on this.
He said: “I would expect them to keep them for a long time and for them to be easily accessible.”
Mr Jackson then asked about the order of Testogel and why this procedure was not applied, saying: “That might be a reason for not writing a prescription for which there would be a record showing you had signed it and that had Mr Sutton’s name on it.”
Dr Freeman replied: “It is not the reason I would have considered but I can see the point.”
He was quizzed about his knowledge of anti-doping legislation, and whether he should have known that possession of Testogel was a breach of the rules.
Mr Jackson asked: “He [Shane Sutton] would fall under the WADA code as an athlete support person?”
Dr Freeman responded: “I wasn’t particularly proficient in the code.”
Mr Jackson said it had been in place since 2009 and Dr Freeman said he believed that was the case and claimed he had “not read the small print about rider’s health”.
The GMC representative then asked: “You must have realised that on the face of it you’re not supposed to be in possession of testosterone unless … do you accept that?”
The doctor said: “I fully accept testosterone is a banned drug for athletes, at the time I was thinking of Mr Sutton as a patient not as a rider or ex-rider.”
Mr Jackson then took exception to his claim of not knowing