Cycling

Richard Freeman’s fitness to practice medicine should be deemed impaired, tribunal hears

Former British Cycling and Team Sky chief doctor Richard Freeman’s fitness to practise medicine should be deemed to be impaired because of the “seriousness of misconduct, repetition of misconduct and lack of insight into his misconduct”, a tribunal heard on Wednesday.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal gave its verdict last week on the contested charges in the long-running hearing, including that Dr Freeman ordered testosterone to British Cycling headquarters in 2011 “knowing or believing” that it was to be given to a rider for doping purposes.

The damning judgment, in which the tribunal labelled Dr Freeman’s conduct “incapable of innocent explanation”, was on top of his admission of 18 of 22 charges, including lying to colleagues and UK Anti-Doping, inappropriate treatment of non-riders and poor record-keeping.

The tribunal has now moved on to stage two of the hearing – which began more than two years ago – where it will determine whether Dr Freeman’s fitness to practise is impaired because of his misconduct.

Dr Freeman is currently working as a GP in Lancashire, where he is taking part in the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

Read more:

Independent Rugby Newsletter

Live Rugby union coverage direct to your inbox every week

Read our privacy notice

Independent Rugby Newsletter

Live Rugby union coverage direct to your inbox every week

Read our privacy notice

  • Cheltenham Festival 2021 day one tips and best bets
  • Premier League top four race: Who has the best run-in?
  • Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury have signed two-fight deal, Eddie Hearn says

Depending on how quickly the tribunal reaches a decision on the question of impairment, which could be as early as Thursday morning, the issue of sanctions could either be determined this week or during further scheduled dates in May.

Speaking on behalf of the General Medical Council, QC Simon Jackson said: “The key issue for this tribunal to determine is whether Dr Freeman’s repeated misconduct renders him currently unfit to practise or whether he is currently unfit to practise for public policy reasons.”

The latter takes into account an adherence to proper professional standards and the need to maintain public confidence in the medical profession.

Jackson continued: “All the circumstances, the GMC submit, should now find Dr Freeman’s fitness to practise is currently impaired because of the seriousness of misconduct, repetition of misconduct and lack of insight into his misconduct.”

READ MORE: Richard Freeman case ‘stinks to high heaven’, says Bradley Wiggins

Dr Freeman’s QC Mary O’Rourke made no submissions, saying: “Regrettably from our perspective, your stage one determination precludes us from running the case we would have run today.

“As you know, we disagree vehemently with your findings. Dr Freeman will have a right of appeal and, if he chooses to exercise that and is successful, we will at the point make more meaningful submissions.”

In an interview with the Mail on Sunday last weekend, Dr Freeman maintained his innocence regarding the doping charge, saying: “I’m still shocked at this verdict. I’ve made plenty of mistakes, but I’m not a doping doctor.”

British Cycling, which brought the case along with the GMC, and Ineos Grenadiers – formerly Team Sky – have both sought to distance themselves from Dr Freeman’s actions, with Ineos saying they did not believe any rider used or sought to use Testogel.

PA

Source: Read Full Article