Former Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins has called for a fresh probe into the scandal involving former British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman, saying he does not believe the banned testosterone the medic ordered was to dope a rider. A long-running medical tribunal ruled on Friday that Freeman, who also worked for Team Sky, had ordered Testogel knowing or believing it was to be given to an unnamed cyclist for the purposes of doping. The tribunal resumes in Manchester on Wednesday. Freeman, 61, could be judged unfit to practise medicine.
The doctor claimed he ordered the Testogel in 2011 for former performance director Shane Sutton but that was dismissed by the tribunal, leading to a frenzy of questions about who the drug was intended for and who else might have known about it. He was also at the center of controversies surrounding Wiggins’ use of the drug triamcinolone during his career and a mystery package delivered to the Criterium du Dauphine race in 2011.
Freeman, in an interview with Britain’s Mail on Sunday, spoke of his shock at the verdict, saying he had “never doped a rider in (his) life”.
Wiggins, speaking on his Eurosport podcast, questioned the tribunal’s ruling and called for a fresh probe.
“This whole charge that they (the Testogel sachets) were for a rider, I don’t think anyone was in that game for doing (things) like that, or stupid enough,” said the 2012 Tour winner.
“You’d get caught the amount of times you were tested.
“What exactly happened? Someone must know…. ‘Accidentally a load of testosterone gel’s come in’. You’re jeopardising your duty of care towards athletes, people’s kids, husbands and wives.
“People who are in there, in this great British system which has won all these Olympic medals over the years, funded by public money — that is not good enough.”
Freeman is also facing two UK Anti-Doping charges. British Cycling and Ineos Grenadiers — formerly Team Sky — have said they will cooperate with that investigation.
The case is a major blow to the reputation of Britain’s flagship Olympic sport.
Wiggins said: “There needs to be more of an explanation. Who were they for then? What the bloody hell were they for? I don’t think for one minute they were for any rider. That wasn’t the type of system that was run.
“Of course that leaves this cloud. I understand that and it makes a bloody good story as well. But this one is a bit different. There’s something else going on and someone knows something, and I don’t quite know what the hell is going on. But it needs a follow-up now.
“There should be another investigation and I think that’s probably the best way to do it.”
RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini