Ex Team Sky doctor slams 'unbelievable' doping ruling

·2-min read
Ex-Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman has been found guilty of ordering testosterone for a cyclist

Former Team Sky and British Cycling chief doctor Richard Freeman has insisted he's "never doped a rider" after a medical tribunal ruled he had ordered testosterone, a banned substance.

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 he denied it had been for a rider, with Freeman adamant he had ordered the testosterone to treat former performance director Shane Sutton's erectile dysfunction -- something the Australian vehemently denied while giving evidence in 2019.

However, after a hearing lasting more than two years, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service found Friday that Freeman had ordered the drugs knowing or believing it was to dope a rider.

The tribunal said it had found Freeman's evidence "implausible" and "dishonest" and that his conduct was "incapable of innocent explanation".

But Freeman in an interview with Britain's Mail on Sunday, still maintained he had not doped a rider.

"It's unbelievable," Freeman said of the tribunal 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."

He 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 Freeman's fitness to practice and he is also facing two United Kingdom Anti-Doping charges.

The case has cast a shadow over over both the British cycling team, the dominant force at recent Olympic Games and the former Team Sky, now Ineos Grenadiers, won seven of the eight editions of the Tour de France between 2012 and 2019,

Freeman, who played key roles in both set-ups, has been at the centre of a number of controversies.

He took delivery of a mystery package at the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine race in France, the contents of which remain unconfirmed despite a UKAD investigation that lasted 14 months.

Freeman insisted the package contained a legal decongestant.

And he applied for controversial therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) granted to then star rider Wiggins for the powerful anti-inflammatory drug triamcinolone before the 2011 and 2012 editions of the Tour de France and the 2013 Giro d'Italia.

British Cycling, Team Sky, including team chief Dave Brailsford, and Wiggins have all denied wrongdoing.

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