Former doctor for British Cycling, Team Sky gets 4-year ban

LONDON -- The former doctor for British Cycling and Team Sky was given a four-year ban from all sports Tuesday for violating anti-doping rules.

The sanction for Richard Freeman was handed down by an independent tribunal of the national anti-doping panel for possession of a prohibited substance and two separate charges of tampering.

UK Anti-Doping said Freeman's ban was effective from Dec. 22, 2020 - the date of Freeman's provisional suspension - and that he is ineligible for any sporting activity until Dec. 21 next year.

He was charged by UKAD with two violations after he was removed from the medical register because of misconduct following a hearing by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service.

Freeman was a key figure in a period of success for British Cycling and Team Sky from 2010-2017, working closely with Bradley Wiggins when won the Tour de France in 2012 and gold in the time trial at the Olympic Games the same year. He was the physician for Britain's team at the Olympics in 2012 and 2016.

The anti-doping tribunal was satisfied Freeman had intended to make a prohibited substance available to one or more of his athletes when he ordered 30 sachets of Testogel, containing the banned testosterone, in May 2011.

Freeman admitted to lying to UKAD investigators about returning the sachets of Testogel to the supplier, and was also found to have knowingly provided false information to UKAD over his claim that he had written to a non-rider member of staff - for whom he said the product had been ordered - requesting they waive patient confidentiality. They had refused to do so.

British Cycling chairman Frank Slevin noted the verdict and said Freeman's conduct while employed by the organization "bore no resemblance to the high ethical and professional standards which we, our members and our partners rightly expect."