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Ex-Team Sky doctor now charged with ordering testosterone to improve rider's performance

GMC has its application to amend allegations approved. Photo: Team Sky press shot

Joe Robinson
7 Nov 2019

The General Medical Council (GMC) has successfully had its charges amended to read that former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman ordered testosterone products in 2011 'knowing or believing it was to be administered to an athlete to improve their athletic performance.'

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) are currently holding the trial investigating claims that Freeman ordered Testogel to the Manchester Velodrome, the headquarters of British Cycling, in October 2011.

The hearing began by investigating claims that Freeman had lied about ordering the banned substance for a non-athlete member of staff at British Cycling and then returned the product to Fit4Sport Limited. 

The trial was put on hold after the GMC then requested an amendment to the allegations to now read that Freeman's 'motive for placing the order was to obtain Testogel to administer to an athlete to improve their athletic performance.'

It also requested further amendments, stating: 'You [Freeman] placed the order and obtained the TestoGel: when you knew it was not clinically indicated for the non-athlete member of staff above, knowing or believing it was to be administered to an athlete to improve their athletic performance.'

The 'non-athlete member of staff' is said to be former British Cycling coach Shane Sutton, who Freeman claims he made the testosterone delivery for.

The GMC claims that it has a doctor willing to give evidence suggesting Sutton never needed the administration of testosterone for medical reasons.

Freeman's legal counsel Mary O’Rourke QC submitted an appeal stating that 'by changing the words in the allegation from "your motive…" to "knowing or believing…", the GMC was trying to relieve itself of the burden of establishing what was in Dr Freeman’s mind.'

The MPTS has, however, agreed to adjust the allegations to which Freeman will stand trial.

It was also agreed that Freeman would be considered a 'vulnerable witness'. This will allow him to give evidence from behind a screen and for a screen to be placed in front of Freeman if he is in the trial at the same time as Sutton.

It will also see Freeman limited to three hours of giving evidence per day and additional breaks when required.

Last week, Freeman admitted to telling 'a lot of lies' during the medical tribunal and that he did order testosterone to the British Cycling headquarters, however he denied that it was intended for the use with an athlete.