Former British Cycling doctor Freeman unfit to practise - tribunal

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(Reuters) - Richard Freeman, the former chief doctor for Team Sky and British Cycling, is unfit to practise due to misconduct, a Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) ruled on Thursday.

Freeman was found guilty of ordering testosterone "knowing or believing" it to be for an athlete to improve their performance, the MPTS ruled last week as it delivered a damning verdict on the conduct of the doctor.

On Thursday, the MPTS said: "The tribunal bore in mind that 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 concluded that public confidence in the profession would be undermined if a finding of impairment were not made. The Tribunal has therefore determined that Freeman's fitness to practise is impaired by reason of his misconduct."

Freeman was charged with ordering 30 sachets of Testogel to the national velodrome in Manchester for an unnamed athlete in 2011 and admitted to destroying a laptop before passing it on to forensic experts conducting a UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) probe.

He had previously admitted to 18 of the 22 charges against him including purchasing banned testosterone, lying to UKAD and keeping haphazard records.

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

"In the course of that dishonesty... Freeman abused the professional trust of colleagues and friends, publicly traduced the reputation of another professional and deliberately misled UKAD, among other matters," it added.

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

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)