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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.”


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

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