Freeman says he 'never doped a rider' as tribunal continues

Dr Richard Freeman was questioned about his interest in testosterone as the hearing into his fitness to practise medicine continued in Manchester.

The former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor has admitted to a number of charges but denies ordering testosterone “knowing or believing” it was to be given to a rider for the purposes of improving performance.

Dr Freeman was again questioned by General Medical Council QC Simon Jackson, who it was revealed has been supplied with riders’ medical data by British Cycling.

Jackson quizzed Dr Freeman on statements he made in his book, The Line: Where Medicine and Sport Collide, as well as a BBC interview.

Asked about the ethical line between providing medical support to riders and doping, Dr Freeman said: “I’ve never crossed it. I was completely in agreement with the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) code.”

Dr Freeman’s case centres around his claim, which former British cycling technical director Shane Sutton denies, that he ordered Testogel patches to treat Sutton’s erectile dysfunction.

Dr Freeman described the search for markers of over-training and under-recovery in athletes as “the holy grail” but, when it was put to him that his interest in testosterone levels was for the purposes of artificially raising them, he responded sharply.

“I find that allegation or summary offensive,” he said. “I have never doped a rider. I would never consider it. I would never consider supplementing with testosterone at any time.”

Dr Freeman denied that over-work would cause an athlete’s testosterone levels to become very low and said all riders he worked with at British Cycling and Team Sky were in the normal range.

He did, though, admit he would no longer say, as he had previously, that the medical department within British Cycling was not part of the marginal gains culture.

Jackson also questioned Dr Freeman around the use of triamcinolone, which it was claimed in a parliamentary report was administered to Sir Bradley Wiggins to help him win the Tour de France in 2012.

Dr Freeman’s QC, Mary O’Rourke, alleged earlier in the hearing that Sutton had doped while he was a rider, but, asked about the Australian by Jackson, the doctor said: “I didn’t know about the past but Shane Sutton when he dealt with me was a straight shooter.

“He never suggested doping a rider. I’ve got my problems with Mr Sutton, and I still have my fear of Mr Sutton. Mr Sutton never asked me to dope a rider, ever.”

Asked if he felt he had been made a scapegoat, Dr Freeman said: “On reflection, I’ve got no sense of entitlement. I did make some medical mistakes, which I’ve admitted to.

“I don’t believe I was ever the prime target of Jiffygate (the triamcinolone affair). I think I’ve been caught in the middle of some things so yes I do feel I’ve been made a scapegoat.”

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