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The medical misconduct panel investigating Dr Richard Freeman, former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor, amended its allegations Thursday to specify that a box of Testogel testosterone patches delivered to the Manchester headquarters of British Cycling in 2011 was ordered “knowing or believing it was to be administered to an athlete to improve their athletic performance.”
Previously, the allegations stated that Freeman ordered Testogel “to administer at an athlete to improve performance.”
Freeman admits that he ordered the Testogel, but denies it was for an athlete. He claims he ordered it for British Cycling staff member Shane Sutton. Sutton disputes Freeman’s claim.
Why it matters
The change in the language is small, but could have a significant impact on the tribunal. The new language allows both the Tribunal’s accusation and Freeman’s explanation to be true. In other words, it allows for the possibility that Freeman ordered the Testogel for a staff member while “knowing or believing” that it was destined for an athlete.
Freeman already admitted to 19 of the 22 charges levelled against him. He did not admit to ordering the Testogel for an athlete.
The change in the allegation was requested by Simon Jackson, who represents the General Medical Council. The proposed amendments were intended to “clarify the GMC’s case without shifting it,” according to a statement from the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS), which is conducting the trial.
Freeman’s lawyer, Mary O’Rourke, described the decision as “disappointing.” Freeman is contesting the charge and is expected to take the stand in the coming hours.
This story is ongoing and will be updated.