Former British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman struck off medical register

PA Sport Staff
·2-min read

Former British Cycling and Team Sky chief doctor Richard Freeman has been permanently struck off the medical register.

A Medical Practitioners Tribunal found Dr Freeman’s fitness to practise impaired on Thursday and on Friday imposed the strongest possible sanction.

Dr Freeman either admitted or was found guilty on 21 of 22 charges relating to the ordering of testosterone to British Cycling headquarters in 2011 as well as poor record-keeping and inappropriate treatment of non-riders.

The central charge, which Dr Freeman denied, was that he ordered the Testogel “knowing or believing” it was to be given to a rider for doping purposes.

The tribunal dismissed Dr Freeman’s defence and said on Thursday: “In all the circumstances, the tribunal determined that Dr Freeman’s actions would be considered as deplorable by members of the public and fellow practitioners.

“The tribunal considered that Dr Freeman’s conduct surrounding the order of the Testogel amounted to a long and considered pattern of very serious dishonesty.”

The sanctions decision read: “The tribunal considered that Dr Freeman’s behaviour is fundamentally incompatible with continued registration.

“The tribunal has therefore determined that erasure is the only sufficient sanction which would protect patients, maintain public confidence in the profession and send a clear message to Dr Freeman, the profession and the public that his misconduct constituted behaviour unbefitting and incompatible with that of a registered doctor.

“The tribunal therefore determined that Dr Freeman’s name be erased from the medical register.”

Dr Freeman is currently working as a GP in Lancashire as part of the Covid-19 vaccination programme. The tribunal will now decide whether to impose the sanction immediately or allow him to continue working during a 28-day period in which he has the right to appeal.

His QC Mary O’Rourke said an appeal to the High Court was “highly likely”, with the medic and his legal team taking particular exception to the tribunal’s conclusion that Shane Sutton was a credible and consistent witness.

The tribunal said Shane Sutton was a credible witness
The tribunal said Shane Sutton was a credible witness (Martin Rickett/PA)

Dr Freeman claimed the Testogel was ordered to treat the former performance director’s erectile dysfunction, which Sutton vociferously denied, storming out during a tumultuous day of evidence in 2019.

O’Rourke said: “As you know, he strongly disputes your conclusions. He thinks you’ve got it wrong and particularly in respect of Shane Sutton. For you to describe Shane Sutton in the terms you do is really stunning.

“You described him as intemperate but neglected to deal with the fact that he threatened Dr Freeman at least three times in this room and threatened me once. If that didn’t say all that you needed to know, what did?

“It’s highly likely that Dr Freeman will exercise his right to appeal.”