Dr Richard Freeman charged by UK Anti-Doping with two violations of rules

Dr Richard Freeman and defence team Dr Richard Freeman (second from left) photographed at his medical court in Manchester.

Former British cyclist and Team Sky medical director Richard Freeman has been charged with two doping offenses by the British Anti-Doping Agency (Ukad), it has been learned.

The coroner is already battling the medical association’s accusations that he prescribed banned testosterone in 2011 to boost the rider.

The prosecution is a central part of Mr. Freeman’s two-year preparation for court, and at today’s hearing the final documents were filed.

But the former top sports doctor is now accused by the Ukad of “possessing a prohibited substance” and “tampering or attempting to tamper with a part of the doping control process.”

The allegation of sabotage includes attempts to undermine every aspect of doping control, including testing.

Freeman has reportedly denied some of the allegations and has requested a hearing.

This development is perhaps the most serious in the saga to date and casts a shadow over the reputation of Britain’s hugely successful track and field and road cycling teams.

The CME accused Freeman of ordering 30 packets of gel paste from a national cycling center 10 years ago, “knowing or believing” that the banned drug was intended to enhance an athlete’s performance.

Freeman could be banned from the sport for four years if found guilty by the independent national anti-doping commission.

He confessed to 18 of the 22 charges against him, including initially lying in an attempt to conceal the warrant and misleading the Ukad investigation.

But Freeman denies the other four charges, including helping drug a rider by saying former British Cycling and Sky Team manager Shane Sutton forced him to order erection pills.

Sutton denied the allegations and claimed Freeman was lying.

His lawyer, Mary O’Rourke QC, summarized for Freeman last week that the GMC case was “completely derailed.”

“You have to watch out for red herrings. In this case, there are a lot of them”.

Richard Jackson QC, summarizing the CME case, accused the doctor of a “cautious campaign of self-preservation.”

Freeman, who worked simultaneously for British Cycling and Team Sky between 2009 and 2015, has been at the center of a series of controversies.

In 2017, the Ukad completed a 14-month investigation into a “mysterious” medical package delivered to Sir Bradley Wiggins during the 2011 Critérium du Dauphine, without ever determining exactly what was in the package.

Freeman insisted that this was a legitimate illegal act and denied any wrongdoing, although he was accused of misusing the anti-inflammatory drug triamcinolone.

Wiggins also obtained a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) for triamcinolone just before three major races – the 2011 Tour de France, his victory in the 2012 Tour de France and the 2013 Giro d’Italia. However, Freeman, who applied for the TUE on Wiggins’ behalf, said it was still within the rules.

Wiggins, British Cycling and Team Sky (now Team Ineos) have always denied that anything was wrong.

Freeman retired from British cycling in 2017, but two years later he was accused by the GMC of supplying testosterone to the National Cycling Centre in 2011.

Since the statute of limitations had expired, Ukad had until May of this year to sue Freeman.

Ukad declined to comment.

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