The tribunal into the former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman has been adjourned until the New Year due to his health and is unlikely to resume before May and perhaps as late as October.
The hearing, originally due to be have been held last February, eventually started in October and had been due to conclude by this Friday 20 December.
However, delays have been caused by legal adjournments and due to the health of Freeman, who has bipolar disorder.
On Friday, his lawyer Mary O’Rourke QC told the hearing that there had been “a crisis [in his mental state] in the last three or four days.”
The adjournment, needed because O’Rourke will be working on a case that starts in January and is scheduled to last 62 days, was agreed by the General Medical Practitioners Tribunal (GMPT) today following representations from the lawyer and the General Medical Council, which brought the case.
The GMPT, which is sitting in Manchester, says it will announce tomorrow the dates when the hearing is planned to resume, which may be in May but could be as late as October.
Freeman has admitted 18 of the 22 charges brought against him, in a case that could result in him being declared unfit to practise medicine.
Of the four charges he denies, the most serious is that the Testogel sachets he has admitted ordering and which were delivered to British Cycling’s headquarters in 2011 were intended to be used to enhance an athlete’s performance.
Freeman – who has not yet given evidence, nor been cross-examined by the GMC) – insists instead that he was bullied into ordering the patches by former British Cycling and Team Sky coach Shane Sutton to treat the Australian’s alleged erectile function.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.