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Former British Cycling Doctor Hadn’t Read All Anti-Doping Guidance

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.



Record Keeping

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.”

Anti-Doping

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.”

Knowledge

Mr Jackson then took exception to his claim of not knowing

Former British Cycling Doctor Destroyed Laptop With Screwdriver

MANCHESTER—A former British Cycling doctor has told a tribunal he destroyed a laptop which could have contained important medical data, because he thought investigators would have already backed it up.

Dr Richard Freeman is accused of ordering Testogel, a prohibited substance, to the Velodrome in Manchester in May 2011 with the aim of improving an unnamed athlete’s performance.

He admits to obtaining the product but claims it was for cycling coach Shane Sutton in order to help him with erectile dysfunction.



Giving Evidence

Dr Freeman stood up at the Medical Practitioners’ Tribunal Service (MPTS) 10 months after the case was last adjourned.

During his evidence he said he had been providing Mr Sutton with Viagra and Cialis in the year building up to the alleged incident but Mr Sutton then demanded Testogel.

The doctor was also forced to confront the previous lies he had told about the incident.
 

Destroyed Laptop

Representing the General Medical Council (GMC), Simon Jackson asked him about a laptop which had been inspected by the UK Anti Doping agency in February 2017 but had been “destroyed in an amateurish way” when it came to be inspected 2 years later.

Dr Freeman asked: “Are you asking me why I destroyed it?”

The GMC lawyer said: “We haven’t got to that stage, I am asking you why it was handed down in working order, why you returned it damaged and useless?”

Dr Freeman gave his account: “I had seen a programme about how people in India can get data from the laptops, I decided I am not going to let that happen so I decided to destroy it.”

He also conceded he had not felt well at the time.

He said his lawyers advised him not to do this and he had believed he had a hard drive.

Mr Jackson then pressed him on why he had decided to destroy it.

He asked: “Before you took a screwdriver or hammer to destroy the laptop you would have backed it up?”

Dr Freeman replied: “Yes.”

He was then asked why he did not do this.

Dr Freeman said he assumed British Cycling would have made a copy.

Mr Jackson asked: “Did you take any steps to check that?”

Dr Freeman replied: “I did not.”

He later claimed he handed over an external hard drive but his examiner said he had just handed over a “piece of plastic”.

He was then asked: “Surely Dr Freeman on an issue as important as this, before you applied brute force to this laptop you had a copy, that is common sense isn’t it?”

Dr Freeman replied: “Yes.”

Mr Jackson then said: “Unless you did not want someone to access the contents?”

Dr Freeman replied: “I had nothing to hide, it had already been damaged by British Cycling.”

Erectile Dysfunction 

He was then asked about his background treating erectile dysfunction and his relationship with Shane Sutton.

Mr Jackson took him through his CV and asked whether he had agreed the description by his own

U.S., British hepatitis C researchers win Nobel Prize in Medicine

Oct. 5 (UPI) — Three scientists who each played a role in finding a cure for hepatitis C have won this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the Nobel Foundation announced Monday.

Americans Harvey J. Alter and Charles M. Rice and Briton Michael Houghton won the 2020 prize for their separate work in battling hepatitis C, a blood-borne disease that causes cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.

The disease is associated with significant morbidity and mortality and causes more than 1 million deaths per year worldwide, making it a global health threat on a scale comparable to HIV infection and tuberculosis.

The prize was announced during a ceremony at the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, which awards the honor each year.

Two other types of hepatitis — A and B — had been identified earlier, but a still-unknown form had continued to affect blood transfusion patients.

In the 1970s, Alter, working at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, first showed that the condition was caused by a previously unknown, distinct virus, later named the hepatitis C virus.

Identifying the virus, however, eluded researchers for more than a decade. Houghton, then working for the Chiron Corp. in California, was able to isolate the genetic sequence of the virus in 1989, providing a key breakthrough.

With the virus identified, researchers still needed to prove that it alone was capable of causing hepatitis. Rice, a scientist at Washington University in St. Louis, provided the link in 2005 after eight years of research.

The scientists’ contributions have “essentially eliminated post-transfusion hepatitis in many parts of the world, greatly improving global health,” the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine said.

“Their discovery also allowed the rapid development of antiviral drugs directed at hepatitis C,” it added. “For the first time in history, the disease can now be cured, raising hopes of eradicating hepatitis C virus from the world population.”

The Nobel Institute’s two other scientific prizes — for physics and chemistry — will be announced Tuesday and Wednesday. They will be followed by the literature prize on Thursday, the peace prize on Friday and economic sciences on Oct. 12.

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British officials investigating reporting glitch

LONDON — The British government has launched an investigation into how nearly 16,000 new coronavirus infections went unreported as a result of a technical glitch.

The failing could have given fresh impetus to the country’s coronavirus outbreak and ultimately to an uptick in deaths.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told lawmakers Monday that 51% of those cases have now been contacted by contact tracers.

Hancock’s statement came after the weekend disclosure that a total of 15,841 virus cases weren’t tabulated from Sept. 25 to Oct. 2.

Jonathan Ashworth, Labour’s spokesman on health issues, slammed the government for its latest failing on testing “at one of the most crucial points in the pandemic.”


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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Trump says he’s leaving hospital for White House, feels good

— Some Orthodox Jews bristle at NYC’s response to virus surge

— Paris on maximum virus alert, closing bars, not restaurants

— New Jersey governor: Trump fundraiser ‘put lives at risk’

— Kayleigh McEnany tests positive for COVID-19

— Americans fault US govt over foreign powers for virus crisis

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Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

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RIVERSIDE, Calif. — Pastor Greg Laurie of the prominent California-based church Harvest Christian Fellowship confirmed he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Laurie said in an Instagram posting Monday that he tested positive on Friday and has been in quarantine since then with his wife, but so far all members of his family have tested negative.

“My symptoms have been mild so far, and I expect to make a full recovery,” he wrote. “I have always taken the Coronavirus seriously, and it has tragically taken many lives. At a time like this, we need to pray for those that have it and avoid politicizing it. If our President and First Lady can get COVID-19, clearly anyone can.”

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MONTPELIER, Vt. — A total of 26 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Vermont were in workers at Champlain Orchards, in Shoreham, the Vermont Health Department confirmed Monday as the state reported its largest one-day increase in cases since June 3.

The Health commissioner and Agriculture secretary planned a news conference in the afternoon to discuss the state’s investigation into the outbreak.

The cases linked to the orchard made up a majority of the 33 new confirmed cases the state reported Monday.

The total of number of deaths from COVID-19 in Vermont has remained at 58 for over two months.

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JOHANNESBURG — African governments have worked together to launch a digital platform to inform travelers about COVID-19 travel restrictions across the continent, as many countries ease restrictions on international travel.

Still reeling from nearly six months of a ban on international travel to avoid the spread of the coronavirus, major airports on the continent have now resumed international flights, but with specific restrictions.

The #Trusted Travel, My COVID Pass, will provide travelers in Africa with information about what requirements they will face going

American, British Hepatitis C researchers win Nobel Prize in Medicine

Oct. 5 (UPI) — Three scientists who each played a role in finding a cure for Hepatitis C have won this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, the Nobel Foundation announced Monday.

Americans Harvey J. Alter and Charles M. Rice and Briton Michael Houghton won the 2020 prize for their separate work in battling Hepatitis C, a blood-borne disease which causes cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.

The disease is associated with significant morbidity and mortality and causes more than 1 million deaths per year worldwide, making it a global health threat on a scale comparable to HIV-infection and tuberculosis.

The prize was announced during a ceremony at the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, which awards the honor each year.

Two other types of hepatitis — A and B — had been identified earlier, but a still-unknown form had continued to affect blood transfusion patients.

In the 1970s, Alter, working at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, first showed that the condition was caused by a previously unknown, distinct virus, later named the Hepatitis C virus.

Identifying the virus, however, eluded researchers for more than a decade. Houghton, then working for the Chiron Corp. in California, was able to isolate the genetic sequence of the virus in 1989, providing a key breakthrough.

With the virus now identified, researchers still needed to prove that it alone was capable of causing hepatitis. Rice, a scientist at Washington University in St. Louis, provided the link in 2005 after eight years of research.

The scientists’ contributions have “essentially eliminated post-transfusion hepatitis in many parts of the world, greatly improving global health,” the Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine said.

“Their discovery also allowed the rapid development of antiviral drugs directed at hepatitis C,” it added. “For the first time in history, the disease can now be cured, raising hopes of eradicating Hepatitis C virus from the world population.”

The Nobel Institute’s two other scientific prizes — for physics and chemistry — will be announced Tuesday and Wednesday. They will be followed by the literature prize on Thursday, the peace prize on Friday and for economic sciences next Monday.

Sign up for our daily Top News Newsletter

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