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Former Team Sky doctor Freeman given four-year ban

Former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman was hit with a four-year ban from all sport on Tuesday for violating anti-doping rules.

An independent tribunal of the National Anti-Doping Panel sanctioned Freeman’s suspension for possession of a prohibited substance and two separate charges of tampering.

The tribunal was satisfied Freeman had intended to make testosterone — a prohibited substance — available to one or more of his athletes.

Freeman admitted lying to UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) investigators about returning the product containing testosterone to the supplier.

He 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 – who he said the product had been ordered for – requesting they waive patient confidentiality, but that they had refused to do so.

UKAD said the ban was effective from December 22, 2020, the date of Freeman’s provisional suspension, and that he is ineligible for any sporting activity until December 21 next year.

“The decision of the independent tribunal of the National Anti-Doping Panel confirms that Richard Freeman broke the UK Anti-Doping Rules,” UKAD chief executive Jane Rumble said.

“The rules are in place to make sure everyone plays their part in keeping sport clean and to ensure a level playing field.

“The outcomes of both UKAD and the GMC’s respective investigations were vital to outing the truth in this matter.”

Freeman was struck off the medical register in 2021 because of misconduct after a hearing by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service.

His appeal to overturn the decision to strike him off was rejected by the High Court in January.

“This case sends a strong message to all athlete support personnel that the rules apply equally to them, just as they do to athletes, and that they have a clear responsibility to uphold the values of integrity in sport,” Rumble said of the four-year ban.

“When they fail to do so, every effort will be taken to ensure that the rules are enforced.”

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