A tribunal into the conduct of former British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman was told Monday that its “inextricable conclusion” must be that he ordered testosterone for doping purposes. Almost two years after it started, the fitness-to-practice hearing has finally reached the summing up stage, with General Medical Council lawyer Simon Jackson making his closing arguments first.
Freeman, also charged in his former role with Team Sky (now Team Ineos) has already admitted 18 of the 22 charges against him, including ordering testosterone to British Cycling headquarters in 2011 and lying about it. But he denies he did so knowing or believing it was to be administered to a rider for the purposes of doping.
Freeman’s defense is that he ordered the Testogel having been bullied into doing so by former British Cycling technical director Shane Sutton to treat his erectile dysfunction, something the Australian has vehemently denied. Jackson, however, questioned Freeman’s reliability as a witness. Turning to the allegedly threatening text message, he said: “Why not bring the text to the attention of the police, certainly your solicitor? None of this happens.
“Surprise, surprise, when proceedings are under way, there have been UKAD (UK Anti-Doping) interviews, you’re just about to start the first hearing, what happens to critical evidence, alleged threats from the man you say you ordered the Testogel from?
“You delete these texts and you trade in your phone. There’s a theme here.” Freeman has previously admitted to either losing or destroying data from three separate laptops.
Jackson cited the evidence of endocrinologist Dr. Richard Quinton in arguing the Testogel would not have been the correct prescription for Sutton even if Dr. Freeman’s evidence was accurate.
“How can it ever have been thought that prescribing something to your work-place bully that doesn’t work could ever be seen to impress?”
Jackson added there was only one reason for ordering the Testogel.
“We submit his (Dr Freeman’s) motive to dope a rider is the inextricable conclusion to be drawn from all the evidence you’ve heard.”
Freeman’s lawyer, Mary O’Rourke, will sum up the case for the defense on Tuesday and Wednesday.
RBA/AFP Photo: Bettini