Fri, 18 Jun 2021

Former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman said Wednesday that neither he nor those organisations would ever "cross the line" with regard to doping.

Facing a hearing in Manchester, Freeman is accused of ordering testosterone "knowing or believing" it was to be given to a rider to enhance performance during his time working for both teams in 2011.

Simon Jackson, cross-examining for the General Medical Council asked him about a past comment referring to intravenous nutritional support.

"You say: 'My ethics as regards to professional sport are: as long as you do no harm you go to the line, even if that means considering intravenous, intramuscular support'," said Jackson who went on to ask him what he meant by "the line".

Freeman went on to say that references to "the line" were part of the mantra of Team Sky at the time, with the team jerseys having blue lines up their backs.

"This expression was used frequently since the inception of Team Sky," said Freeman.

"Sir Dave Brailsford (team principal) said there is a line we go to every day but we never cross it."

As leading doctor, Freeman was in charge of drawing up protocols for his medical team to follow with regards to administering intravenous support to riders to aid recovery during or after races.

Freeman also rejected suggestions made in an email from 2010 by his former colleague Dr David Hulse that aspects of the proposed protocols, notably the the use of hotel rooms for intravenous treatment, "may compromise the safety of our riders" and potentially breach World Anti-Doping Agency guidelines.

"It is about risk management," said Freeman.

"Obviously the ideal would be a hospital operating theatre, then it would be a doctor's clinic or a velodrome clinic.

"I didn't think injections on the back of the bus were appropriate. I have never given an injection on the back of the bus. That's what I was trying to move away from."

Freeman, who has admitted 18 of the 22 charges he is facing, added that he had been in contact with senior figures at cycling's world governing body, UCI, at the time to ensure the protocols complied with regulations.

Source: News24

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