In final submissions today that are part of a medical tribunal for Richard Freeman, two new charges of anti-doping rules violations were brought against the former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor.
UK Anti-Doping has charged Freeman with “possession of a prohibited substance” and “tampering or attempted tampering with any part of doping control”, it was reported today by the BBC Sport. It was also reported that Freeman has contested a portion of the charges, with a request for a hearing.
At the end of January, the General Medical Council summed up its case in a fitness to practice hearing, and this week the proceedings continued in the ‘facts’ stage of the process, reaching a two-year mark. Having started out in February 2019, the fit-for-practice hearing centres on testosterone gels ordered to the national velodrome by Freeman.
At the time of the delivery, in June 2011, an eight-year statute of limitations was in place, but the new 10-year limit, imposed in 2015, is understood to now apply.
Freeman has accepted 18 of the 22 original allegations brought by the GMC, but is disputing the four charges relating to the testosterone gels, claiming he ordered them to the treat erectile dysfunction of former head coach Shane Sutton and not provide to an athlete to boost performance. Sutton has denied the accusations.
UK Anti-Doping, which first heard about the testosterone delivery and forwarded evidence to the GMC, has been poised to take action if the GMC was able to substantiate the key allegation that Freeman ordered the banned substance “knowing or believing” it was to be administered to a rider.
Freeman resigned from British Cycling in 2017, but was charged by the GMC two years later. Under the statute of limitations, UK Anti-Doping had until May this year to charge Freeman.
The hearing has been expected to conclude in May 2021. BBC Sport noted that Freeman could face a ban from sport for four years if he is found guilty by an independent National Anti-Doping Panel.