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UPDATED: Richard Freeman tribunal adjourned as ex-Team Sky and British Cycling doctor fails to appear

Hearing into a number of serious allegations against medic now due to open on Friday

UPDATED: A medical tribunal into former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman that had been due to open in Manchester today has now been adjourned until Friday after he failed to appear.

The hearing, which is due to last for four weeks, will now commence at 0930 this Friday.

There had been speculation in the press this morning over whether or not Freeman would attend today's scheduled hearing.

In 2017, citing ill-health, he failed to appear before a parliamentary committee investigating, among other things, the contents of a Jiffy Bag couriered to him at the Criterium du Dauphine in 2011 and believed to have contained medicine for then Team Sky rider, Sir Bradley Wiggins.

And last December, he pulled out of a scheduled appearance at an employment tribunal in Manchester where he was due to testify on behalf of former track sprinter Jess Varnish, on the grounds that it might prejudice the tribunal he faces.

In a statement issued today, British Cuycling said: "It is in the public interest and in the best interests of the sport that the allegations against Dr Richard Freeman are heard and examined by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service.

"We continue to support the General Medical Council's work as historic questions need to be resolved."

The case is being brought by the General Medical Council and revolves around the delivery in 2011 of 30 Testogel testosterone patches to the National Cycling Centre in Manchester.

Among the allegations against Freeman are that he ordered the patches specifically to “administer to an athlete to improve their athletic performance.”

It is also alleged that when British Cycling’s former head of medicine, Dr Steve Peters, learnt of the delivery, Freeman claimed that they had been delivered in error.

However, they were not returned to the supplier for five months, and it is further claimed that Freeman asked the company to provide an email confirming they had been sent by mistake.

However, he told UK Anti-doping (UKAD) in 2017 that he had ordered the Testogel for a member of British Cycling staff who was not an athlete.

Other allegations against Freeman, who faces being suspended from practising medicine or even struck off if the case against him is proven, include poor record-keeping and treating non-athlete staff.

Three tribunal members will hear the case, with former British Cycling staff including Peters and Shane Sutton expected to be among those giving evidence.

Observers from UKAD will also be in attendance and depending on what is revealed over coming weeks, there is speculation the agency could reopen its investigation into allegations of wrongdoing at British Cycling and Team Sky, closed last year due to lack of evidence.

This story was originally published at 11.30am on Wednesday 6 February 2018 and updated at 2.15pm on Wednesday 6 February 2018.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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alansmurphy | 5 years ago

The reasons for non attendence previously were stress related. In a time in which we are encouraged to talk more openly about these things it is a little upsetting to see that he is vilified for it. On the other hand, there's not an easy test for it either so a lovely get out of jail free card...

ChrisB200SX replied to alansmurphy | 5 years ago

alansmurphy wrote:

The reasons for non attendence previously were stress related. In a time in which we are encouraged to talk more openly about these things it is a little upsetting to see that he is vilified for it. On the other hand, there's not an easy test for it either so a lovely get out of jail free card...

Stress is normal. He's being vilified because he wrote a book at the same time and was able to promote it... but not able to do his normal job and answer a few questions about his normal job, so it seems he's swinging the lead.

Crashboy | 5 years ago
1 like


I know we don't know all the facts about why he didn't show, but from what I've read I simply don't understand how people get away with simply not turning up to something like this...(more than once!)..?  Celebs and high profile people seem to do it all the time...

In less glamorous civvy street circles (i.e less crazy money  / fewer high profile names potentially  or allegedly involved) if you had a discipliniary meeting and you failed to show, you are toast.

The only relevant jiffy bag then would be the one with your P45 in it, winging it's way to your home because you didn't turn up to defend your corner.




willsdad | 5 years ago
1 like

" I didn't have the balls to turn up m'lud. Because someone made me give the testosterone patches back"

Wow I could be a defense lawyer broken heart

Alb | 5 years ago

Poor old Dicky, it’s not looking good is it? 

ChrisB200SX | 5 years ago
1 like

Dr Freeman calls in sick again?

Rapha Nadal | 5 years ago

You'd have thought that he'd at least bother to attend given the allegations made!

Velovoyeur | 5 years ago

Day 1. No show from Dr Freeman. What a surpise!!!

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