Dr Richard Freeman admits destroying banned testosterone, tribunal told | Cycling News

Dr Richard Freeman admits destroying banned testosterone, tribunal told | Cycling News

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Last Updated: 07/10/20 7:52pm

Dr Richard Freeman admits he destroyed a package of the banned substance testosterone in May 2011

Dr Richard Freeman admits he destroyed a package of the banned substance testosterone in May 2011

A former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor has admitted he destroyed a package of the banned substance testosterone in May 2011.

Dr Richard Freeman says he got rid of it on the same day it was delivered to the National Cycling Centre in Manchester.

Dr Freeman, who also told a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) that he was unaware of some important elements of the World Anti-Doping Agency code, was unable to explain his motive for destroying the product after being ordered to remove it from British Cycling’s headquarters by medical director Steve Peters.

He denies “knowing or believing” the testosterone gel was to be administered to an athlete to improve their performance, asserting he was bullied into ordering it by Shane Sutton, the former technical director at British Cycling and Team Sky, in order to treat erectile dysfunction. Sutton has strenuously denied both claims.

Simon Jackson, cross-examining for the General Medical Council (GMC), said: “I am going to suggest that you never said that in three witness statements or any previous interview that you destroyed it that night – why is that?”

Freeman responded: “I don’t have an answer for that. I took it home that night, this is my regret that I keep playing again and again, I decided to destroy it. I had no thought of an audit trail.”

Freeman has previously admitted 18 of 22 charges, which include ordering 30 sachets of testosterone gel to the Manchester Velodrome nine years ago and lying to British Cycling and UK Anti-Doping about making the order.

On the second day of giving evidence, Freeman admitted he had not read the “small-print” in WADA’s code, in which article 2.6.2 prohibits athlete support staff from possessing banned substances unless in exceptional circumstances.

Jackson said: “You talk about this being small print, Dr Freeman. It’s really a headline. It’s article two of the WADA code – anti-doping regulations. It’s not small print is it? It’s the whole premise of what the code’s about?

“That paragraph there establishes that if you have it, you are deemed to be in possession of it, unless you have an acceptable justification.

“It would not include buying a substance or buying it for a friend. You did not have justifiable medical circumstances to be in possession.”

Dr Freeman said: “I admit to poor medical judgement. I was getting, ordering and prescribing the Testogel for a man I considered my patient.

“I knew the WADA code existed and I knew the sections on the types of drugs that were banned and the methods and that was updated every year.

“My knowledge on that was very good. I have to confess I had no knowledge of and I had not read the small print on possession of prohibited substances and prohibited methods – that never occurred to me.”

When Dr Peters became aware of the testosterone delivery, Dr Freeman alleges he said: “Oh my goodness, why is this here?”

Freeman added: “That knowledge came crashing down on me, and that’s how I came to know more about such things.”

The tribunal continues.



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