British Cycling faces scrutiny over a leaked email suggesting its disgraced former doctorasked for monthly rider test data to identify and defend potential doping breaches. The former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor told senior officials that obtaining athlete biological data was “an opportunity to assess the frequency of testing and warn of target testing.” New questions for British Cycling over Richard Freeman.
Allegations surrounding the central figure inmedal hauls come a fortnight after being struck off the medical register following a tribunal ruling that he ordered testosterone in May 2011 “knowing or believing” it was for doping. On Thursday night, a representative for Freeman understood to be looking at whether he can fund an appeal, was contacted to comment on the suggestion he wanted to access data on the athlete biological passport (ABP) system – an electronic drug-testing athletes.
The ex-British Cycling doctor, who has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, reportedly twiceto British Cycling’s anti-doping commission, which included two representatives from UK Anti-Doping (Ukad), to access the ABP data – in 2014 and 2016. Ukad did not consider it appropriate to give him access. Still, according to The Times and BBC, Freeman wrote in the 2016 message to bosses that he would use the similar to that performed by the anti-doping agencies”.
He added: “This is an opportunity to assess the frequency of testing and give warning of target testing.” Freeman said that it would allow “early detection in fluctuations of the riders’ ABP (athlete biological passport)” and give “time for riders to consider reasons as to why there are fluctuations and prepare a defense”. This access was suggested to allow British Cycling to produce monthlybased on hemoglobin and reticulocyte levels.
Under a color-coding system, a green, amber, or red marker would help identify a possible anti-doping sanction. On Thursday night, British Cycling said: “In February 2016, Dr. Richard Freeman proposed to the federation’s anti-doping commission, which included two representatives from UK Anti-Doping, that Ukad shares information from athlete biological passport monitoring with the medicalTeam.
“The minutes from the meeting record that this proposal was made with the intention of better supporting the work of anti-doping organizations. The minutes also record that the proposal was not accepted and that this would be confirmed in writing.” The email surfaced as Freeman, suspended by his industry with immediate effect until the process of “erasure” has taken place, considers whether to mount an appeal.
A Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service panel ruledthat his fitness to practice was “impaired,” He ordered testosterone to the national velodrome in May 2011, “knowing or believing” it was intended for doping purposes. Freeman said he “disagreed vehemently” with the determination, instead claiming he was bullied into by former head coach Shane Sutton to treat the Australian’s alleged erectile dysfunction, an allegation Sutton vehemently denies.
British Cycling has already been facing questions thisover allegations it was allowed by Ukad to carry out its internal probe into a rider’s sample, which allegedly contained traces of a banned anabolic steroid. Ukad is said to have informed British Cycling of the piece, which dates from the autumn of 2010 and reportedly contained traces of a nandrolone metabolite. British Cycling then conducted its internal follow-up using a private laboratory, HFL Sport Science in Cambridgeshire to run tests on four riders.
“In response to those claims, British Cycling said the departure of key personnel in the intervening period made an investigation challenging, and “we are unable toas the events took place over ten years ago”. Ukad said it was “examining archives to confirm decisions that were taken in 2011 followed the due process set by Wada.” Last night, a legal representative for Freeman said: “Richard is subject to a Ukad investigation and hoping to appeal the MPTS decision. He is not speaking to anyone.”