Team Sky doctor allegedly sent banned testosterone patches
The former head of medicine at the team said he received the banned patches in 2011
Dr Richard Freeman did not comment on claims he received delivery of substance whose use is banned at all times. Photograph: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
The National Cycling Centre took delivery of a package of testosterone patches in 2011, British Cycling’s former head of medicine has admitted.
The latest revelation around the troubled governing body, which was put down to an administrative error, also centres on Dr Richard Freeman.
Freeman’s role in Bradley Wiggins’ use of the powerful corticosteroid triamcinolone via therapeutic use exemptions while riding for Team Sky, and in the delivery of a jiffy bag to Wiggins at a race in France in 2011, has come under intense scrutiny.
Freeman, who still works for British Cycling, pulled out of his much-anticipated appearance before the Culture, Media and Sport select committee on Wednesday, where he had been due to answer questions about the contents of the jiffy bag, citing illness.
He was the man in charge of ordering medical supplies when the testosterone patches were delivered to the cycling centre in Manchester six years ago.
Dr Steve Peters, then head of medicine at British Cycling, told the Sunday Times: “I was with a colleague when the order arrived and it was immediately brought to our attention.
“Dr Freeman, who was responsible for ordering medical supplies, explained that the order had never been placed and so must have been sent in error.
“He contacted the supplier by phone the same day and they confirmed this. I asked Dr Freeman to repack and return it to the supplier, and to make sure they provided written confirmation that it was sent in error and had been received.
“That confirmation arrived and was shown to me by Dr Freeman. I was satisfied that this was simply an administrative error and it wasn’t necessary to escalate it further.”
British Cycling declined to comment on the matter.
The Sunday Times also alleged Freeman’s fellow doctors working at Team Sky were unhappy with Wiggins’ use of TUEs and denied him access to a new password to apply for a fourth exemption in 2013.
Team Sky were not willing to comment on those claims on Sunday, but a spokesman said they would issue a response at a later date.