Freeman tribunal: The full damning list of allegations

Patrick Fletcher
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After months of delay, the medical tribunal looking into Richard Freeman formally opened on Thursday and, with it, the full list of allegations faced by the former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor was made public, as set out below. 

The tribunal, which will assess Freeman's fitness to practice medicine and could lead to anti-doping charges given the involvement of banned substances, was originally scheduled for February but was adjourned to late October. 

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After a preliminary session last Tuesday in which lawyers for Freeman and the General Medical Council (GMC) set out their respective cases, the tribunal spent more than a week discussing a proposed amendment to one of the key allegations. That was granted on Thursday morning, and the tribunal proper finally got underway. 

Of the 22 allegations, Freeman is contesting just four, all relating to the delivery of testosterone - banned in and out of competition - to British Cycling and Team Sky HQ in Manchester in June 2011. 

The critical allegation from an anti-doping point of view is 12b: "You placed the Order and obtained the Testogel knowing or believing it was to be administered to an athlete to improve their athletic performance."

Related

Blow for Freeman as GMC secures change to key Testogel allegation

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Sutton denies Freeman's claim testosterone was for him

Freeman has stated that he will argue he ordered the testosterone for former British Cycling and Team Sky coach Shane Sutton. Sutton denies this and will appear as a witness for the GMC, which is set to provide evidence from an endocrinologist showing Sutton would have no need for testosterone. 

The other areas of misconduct, such as medical record keeping, use of prescription medication and treatment of colleagues, had previously been exposed by investigations from UK Anti-Doping and a Parliamentary committee. Here, Freeman formally acknowledges fault, with the words 'admitted and found proved' accompanying the lion's share of the charges. 

Below is the full list of allegations faced by Freeman and his response to them. 

THE FULL LIST OF CHARGES

Order of a banned substance

1. On 16 May 2011, you ordered for delivery from Fit4Sport Limited to the Manchester Velodrome 30 sachets of Testogel (‘the Order’). Admitted and found proved

2. At the time of order referred to in paragraph 1 above, Testogel was (and remains) prohibited on the World Anti-Doping Agency List of Prohibited Substances and Methods. Admitted and found proved

3. On 18 May 2011, when the Order had been received at Manchester Velodrome, you advised Dr A and Mr B that:

a) you had not made the Order; Admitted and found proved

b) the Order had been sent in error; Admitted and found proved

4. The statements you made as outlined at Paragraph 3 above:

a) were untrue; Admitted and found proved

c) you knew to be untrue. Admitted and found proved

5. On a date in October 2011 you contacted Ms C at Fit4Sport Limited and asked her to send you written confirmation (‘the Email’) which stated that the Order:

a had been sent in error by Fit4Sport Limited; Admitted and found proved

d) had been returned to Fit4Sport Limited; Admitted and found proved

e) will be destroyed by Fit4Sport Limited; Admitted and found proved

6. When you asked Ms C to send the Email, you knew that the Order had not been:

a) sent in error by Fit4Sport Limited; Admitted and found proved

f) returned to Fit4Sport Limited; Admitted and found proved

g) destroyed by Fit4Sport Limited; Admitted and found proved

7. On a date in October 2011, you showed the Email to Dr A and Mr B to evidence that the Order had been:

a) sent in error by Fit4Sport Limited; Admitted and found proved

h) returned to Fit4Sport Limited; Admitted and found proved

i) (or would be) destroyed by Fit4Sport Limited. Admitted and found proved

8. When you showed the Email to Dr A and Mr B you knew that the content of the Email was untrue. Admitted and found proved

9. During an interview with UK Anti-Doping on 17 February 2017, you stated that the Testogel had been:

a) ordered for a non-athlete member of staff; Admitted and found proved

j) returned to Fit4Sport Limited. Admitted and found proved

10. The comments as outlined at Paragraph 9 above:

a) were untrue; Admitted and found proved in relation to 9b. To be determined in relation to 9a

k) you knew to be untrue. Admitted and found proved in relation to 9b. To be determined in relation to 9a

11. Your conduct as outlined at paragraphs 3, 5, 7 and 9 above was dishonest by reasons of paragraphs 4, 6, 8 and 10. Admitted and found proved in relation to 3, 5, 7 and 9b. To be determined in relation to 9a

12.  You placed the Order and obtained the Testogel:

a) when you knew it was not clinically indicated for the non-athlete member of staff as described at paragraph 9a above; Amended under Rules 17(6). To be determined

b) knowing or believing it was to be administered to an athlete to improve their athletic performance. Amended under Rule 17(6). To be determined

13. The motive for your actions as outlined at Paragraphs 3 to 11 (inclusive) above was to conceal your motive conduct as outlined at paragraph 12 above. Amended under Rule 17(6). To be determined

Clinical concerns

14. When Team Doctor for athletes at British Cycling Federation (‘BC’) and Tour Racing / Team Sky (‘Team Sky’), you provided medical treatment that did not constitute first aid to non –athlete members of staff:

a) without access to the medical records for those members of staff you treated; Admitted and found proved

l) when they should instead have been referred to their general practitioner. Admitted and found proved

15. You failed to inform Patient A’s GP of: a what medication you had prescribed to Patient A; Admitted and found proved

m) the reasons for prescribing medication to Patient A. Admitted and found proved

16. You failed to inform Patient B’s GP of:

a) what medication you had prescribed to Patient B; Admitted and found proved

n) the reasons for prescribing medication to Patient B. Admitted and found proved

17. You failed to inform Patient C’s GP of:

a) what medication you had prescribed Patient C; Admitted and found proved

o) the reasons for prescribing the medication to Patient C. Admitted and found proved

Record management

18. Your role as team doctor at BC and Team Sky required you to use electronic medical record keeping software (namely Performance Data Management System at BC and Drop Box at Team Sky) so that treating physicians always had access to relevant medical information of Team Sky and BC athletes anywhere in the world. Admitted and found proved

19. You failed to maintain an adequate record management system in that you failed to:

a) implement an adequate medicine management policy, in that you did not adequately record details of stored drugs, including:

i. stock checks; Admitted and found proved

ii. medicine use; Admitted and found proved

iii. expiry dates; Admitted and found proved

iv. dosages; Admitted and found proved

v. quantity; Admitted and found proved

vi. batch numbers; Admitted and found proved

a) record details of drugs once prescribed, including:

i. start date of treatment; Admitted and found proved

vii. dose; Admitted and found proved

viii) quantity; Admitted and found proved

ix. batch number; Admitted and found proved

b) consistently record patient records on:

i. the Performance Data Management System at BC; Admitted and found proved

x. in the alternative to 19.c.i, in hard copy form. Admitted and found proved

p) record on patient records or elsewhere medication you had:

i. ordered; Admitted and found proved

xi. stored; Admitted and found proved

xii. prescribed. Admitted and found proved

q) maintain a consistent and organised approach to the storage of medical records in that when you did create records you stored them:

i) on a number of different laptops; Admitted and found proved

xiii. in hard copy form in piles of loose paper. Admitted and found proved

20. Your management of prescription-only medication (‘POM’) was inappropriate in

that you failed to:

a) issue a prescription for relevant medication; Admitted and found proved

r) keep an adequate record of stored POM; Admitted and found proved

s) keep an adequate record of dispensed POM. Admitted and found proved

21. On the evening of 27 / 28 August 2014, a British Cycling laptop containing records of a professional cyclist (‘the Laptop’) was stolen from you. Admitted and found proved

22. You failed to ensure that the records on the Laptop could be retrieved in that you:

a) did not back up the records:

i. electronically; Admitted and found proved

ii. in hard copy form. Admitted and found proved

b) stored the records in a manner only accessible to you. Admitted and found proved

The ultimate charge

And that by reason of the matters set out above your fitness to practise is impaired because of your misconduct. To be determined

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