Ex-British Cycling doctor's fitness to practise impaired: medical tribunal

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Ex-Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman was found guilty of ordering testosterone for a cyclist

Former British Cycling and Team Sky chief doctor Richard Freeman's fitness to practise medicine is impaired, a medical tribunal ruled on Thursday.

Freeman was last week found guilty of ordering testosterone to British Cycling headquarters "knowing or believing" it was to be given to an unnamed rider for doping purposes.

The hearing resumed on Wednesday and after a day's deliberation, the Medical Practitioners Tribunal gave its verdict.

"The tribunal bore in mind that Dr Freeman's misconduct involved a number of significant elements, including serious dishonesty, as well as behaviour which could have placed patients at unwarranted risk of harm," it said.

"It concluded that public confidence in the profession would be undermined if a finding of impairment were not made.

"The tribunal has therefore determined that Dr Freeman's fitness to practise is impaired by reason of his misconduct."

The tribunal will now consider what sanctions, if any, it will impose on Freeman.

The General Medical Council, which licenses doctors to practise in Britain, has argued the doctor should be permanently struck off the register.

Freeman had claimed that he ordered Testogel in 2011 to treat former performance director Shane Sutton's erectile dysfunction.

That was strenuously denied by the Australian and dismissed by the tribunal as being untruthful.

"The tribunal considered that Dr Freeman's conduct surrounding the order of the Testogel amounted to a long and considered pattern of very serious dishonesty," the impairment ruling continued.

"In the course of that dishonesty... Dr Freeman abused the professional trust of colleagues and friends, publicly traduced the reputation of another professional (Mr Sutton), and deliberately misled UKAD (UK Anti-Doping), among other matters.

"His dishonesty continued up to and during the hearing itself. This, too, was serious misconduct."