Ex-British Biking and Group Sky physician Richard Freeman has instructed a medical tribunal that he didn’t know that testosterone was a efficiency enhancing substance when he ordered 30 patches of Testogel to the Nationwide Biking Centre in Manchester in Could 2011.
The physician made the declare on the ultimate day of cross-examination at his fitness-to-practise listening to on the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester.
He has admitted 18 of the 22 prices introduced towards him by the Normal Medical Council, together with having ordered the patches, however denies that he did so “understanding or believing” that they had been supposed to be used by an athlete, experiences BBC Sport.
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On the time in query, Freeman was working for each the Nice Britain Biking Group and for Group Sky, which had begun racing the earlier 12 months and which initially recruited docs from outdoors the game, given its historical past of doping.
“I am not a biking fan, I am a physician in sports activities drugs,” Freeman instructed the listening to yesterday. “We had been centered on managing athletes and there was this mantra that we had been a clear staff – it was by no means mentioned.”
Requested for his opinion of the drug tradition inside biking on the time, and whether or not he would have been conscious of testosterone’s performance-enhancing properties, Freeman stated: “No, I would not have, actually. I got here into biking fairly contemporary.”
He additionally insisted that the subject of doping had by no means been raised between himself and Dr Steve Peters, on the time the medical director of British Biking.
“The primary curiosity in endurance biking was blood doping,” he insisted. “Dr Peters and I by no means mentioned doping.”
Freeman joined British Biking in direction of the top of 2009, and whereas he might not have had a background within the sport, his professed ignorance of issues associated to doping is sure to boost eyebrows.
Apart from the truth that a medical skilled with elite athletes underneath their care would should be conversant in the World Anti-Doping Code and the substances prohibited or managed underneath it, there have been numerous high-profile doping circumstances within the sport on the time.
These included the confession by Floyd Landis in Could 2010 – a 12 months earlier than Freeman ordered the Testogel patches – that he had used testosterone throughout the 2006 Tour de France, which he received solely to be stripped of the title after failing an anti-doping management.
Freeman’s insistence that he was unaware of testosterone’s performance-enhancing capabilities is, presumably, restricted solely to the sporting sense – he has claimed that he ordered the patches to for former British Biking and Group Sky coach Shane Sutton to deal with an alleged erectile dysfunction – one thing Sutton strenuously denies.
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