Former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor fails to appear at doping hearing

14 November 2019, 21:12 | Updated: 15 November 2019, 00:46

The doctor at the centre of a medical tribunal into claims he ordered a banned substance to dope an unnamed cyclist failed to appear at Thursday's hearing in Manchester.

The tribunal was told that Dr Richard Freeman, formerly of British Cycling and Team Sky, suffered an "adverse reaction" to Tuesday's appearance by his former colleague, head coach Shane Sutton.

His counsel Mary O'Rourke told the General Medical Council hearing: "He is not in a fit condition to be here today, or indeed tomorrow."

Mr Sutton stormed out of the hearing on Tuesday after being called a "serial liar" and a "doper" by Dr Freeman's legal team.

The Australian coach had worked closely with Dr Freeman during their time together at British Cycling and Team Sky, but he declined to return and continue his evidence.

On Tuesday, Mr Sutton strenuously denied that he bullied Dr Freeman into ordering the testosterone patches in 2011 to treat his alleged erectile dysfunction.

Giving evidence on Thursday, Dr Steve Peters, the former head of medicine at British Cycling, told the hearing that he had been told the package also contained the sex drug Viagra.

Dr Freeman has already accepted 18 of the 22 charges against him, including ordering Testogel, trying to cover his tracks and lying to UK Anti-Doping when questioned about the case.

Dr Peters told the hearing: "Richard didn't deal very well with a lot of things and would become very distressed.

"There were so many things that were disorganised, it was disconcerting. Richard just didn't seem to have awareness of consequences. He didn't keep his notes up to standard. He really struggled and was in a vulnerable place."

Prof Peters added that "within any team you are bound to get conflict, particularly between coach and athlete. The only person who there were accusations of bullying, were against Shane".

The hearing continues.