'Never doped a rider': Disgraced doctor slams 'unbelievable' claims

Australian Associated Press
·3-min read
Pictured here, former Team Sky and British cycling doctor Richard Freeman.
Former Team Sky and British cycling doctor Richard Freeman insists he has never doped a rider. Pic: Getty

Former British Cycling and Team Sky chief doctor Richard Freeman insists he has "never doped a rider" after revealing his shock at the ruling of a Medical Practitioners Tribunal (MPT) over him ordering banned testosterone.

Dr Freeman had admitted 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.

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The case was brought by the General Medical Council (GMC) and Freeman's former employers but there is no doubt this is another major blow to the reputation of Britain's flagship Olympic sport.

After a hearing lasting more than two years, decisions on the contested charges were issued by the MPT on Friday.

The tribunal found Dr Freeman had ordered testosterone knowing or believing it was to dope a rider.

In making its decision, the tribunal said Dr Freeman's evidence was "implausible" and "dishonest" and that his conduct was "incapable of innocent explanation".

Dr Freeman claimed he had been bullied into ordering the testosterone to treat former performance director Shane Sutton's erectile dysfunction, which the Australian strenuously denied in an explosive day of testimony in 2019 in which he called the doctor a "spineless individual.

Sutton - who left British Cycling in 2016 after clams of sexism and discriminatory comments - stormed out before completing his evidence but the tribunal found him to be a credible and consistent witness.

Doctor insists he's not a cheat

In a lengthy interview with the Mail On Sunday, Dr Freeman again maintained he was not a doper.

"It's so disappointing. It's unbelievable," Dr Freeman said of the tribunal's ruling.

"I have never doped a rider in my life. I'm still to see any evidence of who this rider supposedly was.

"I accept there are people who don't believe me.

"They will say I've lied and changed my story and can't trust anything I say.

"I've admitted to those lies.

Pictured here, British former cycling doctor Richard Freeman denies he is a doping cheat.
Dr Richard Freeman admitted to ordering testosterone but says he never used the drugs for the purposes of cheating. Pic: AAP/Getty

"And, yes, I deserved the GMC tribunal, but I can say with a clear conscience that I didn't order Testogel knowing or believing it was for cheating."

Dr Freeman added: "I'm still shocked at this verdict. I've made plenty of mistakes, but I'm not a doping doctor."

The tribunal will sit again next week to assess whether Dr Freeman's fitness to practice is impaired because of his misconduct.

Dr Freeman is also facing two UKAD charges regarding the ordering of the testosterone.

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