(Reuters) – Former British Cycling and Team Sky chief doctor Richard Freeman said he is not “a doping doctor” after a medical tribunal found him guilty of ordering banned testosterone in 2011. TOn Friday, the medical Practitioners Tribunal Service ruled Freeman ordered Testogel “knowing or believing” it to be for an athlete to improve their performance.
Freeman, 61, was charged with ordering 30 sachets of Testogel to the national velodrome in Manchester in 2011 for an unnamed athlete. “I’m still shocked at this verdict. I’ve made plenty of mistakes, but I’m not a doping doctor,” Freeman told the Mail on Sunday newspaper. “It’s so disappointing. It’s unbelievable. I have never doped a rider in my life.
“I accept there are people who don’t believe me… But I can say with a clear conscience that I didn’t order Testogel knowing or believing it was for cheating. “We (Team Sky and British Cycling) were more interested in spending money on ceramic bearings instead of a medical records system.” Initially, Freeman said the Testogel had been ordered in error and returned, without providing evidence.
Giving evidence in November 2019, he said he had been bullied into ordering it by former head coach Shane Sutton who wanted it to treat erectile dysfunction, a claim Sutton had denied and which the tribunal found to be an “elaborate falsehood” as Freeman sought to cover his tracks.
The hearing on Freeman’s case will continue on March 17 when the tribunal will consider if the doctor’s “fitness to practice is impaired”. “I believe in due process,” Freeman added. “I believe in evidence. I believe the truth will come out. I’m not a doper.” (Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)