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Reports that banned substance was ordered and not in fact delivered in error

A General Medical Council (GMC) investigation into Dr Richard Freeman, the former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor, has obtained evidence suggesting that testosterone patches were ordered from the National Cycling Centre in Manchester, the headquarters of British Cycling and Team Sky. Using testosterone is banned at all times under the world anti-doping code and a request was subsequently made to the supplier asking them to send an email saying the package had been sent in error.

Oldham-based Fit 4 Sport Ltd sent testosterone patches to the National Cycling Centre in 2011 and Dr Steve Peters – who was head of medical at British Cycling and Team Sky at the time – questioned Freeman about the delivery as he was the person responsible for ordering medical supplies.

Freeman said the supplier had sent the package by mistake and it was subsequently returned. He then requested written confirmation from the company that the package was sent in error and showed the email to Peters.

However, we reported in November that Fit 4 Sport did not respond when UK Anti-Doping (Ukad) requested written proof that they were sent in error and British Cycling subsequently stated that it would be terminating its relationship with the firm.

The governing body’s chief executive, Julie Harrington, explained: “As part of our own internal investigation we invited Dr Freeman and our national medical supplier, Fit 4 Sport, to contribute and we were disappointed we didn't get any co-operation. We will be reviewing our supply partner.”

Both Ukad and the General Medical Council (GMC) are still looking into the delivery of the testosterone patches as part of ongoing investigations and Mail Sport reports that the GMC may have obtained proof that they were ordered and not in fact delivered in error.

Team Sky said they “won't comment on an ongoing GMC investigation.”

British Cycling said: “The General Medical Council are investigating matters referred to them by both UK Anti-Doping and British Cycling. We continue to support these investigations and have responded to requests for information. While the GMC is looking into these concerns it would not be appropriate for us to comment.”

Ukad declined to comment, while a spokeswoman for the GMC said: “I am not able to comment on an ongoing investigation.”

Freeman resigned from British Cycling in October 2017 due to ill health.

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