A psychiatrist who examined Dr Richard Freeman before his medical tribunal has said that the former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor was vulnerable to the bullying of Shane Sutton due to his bipolar disorder and that this may have been how he came to order the banned substance Testogel.
Freeman has admitted 18 of the 22 charges brought against him by the General Medical Council, including ordering Testogel patches. However, he denies that he did so “knowing or believing” that they were intended for use by an athlete.
Earlier this week, he told the tribunal that he did not know testosterone was a performance enhancing substance when he ordered it.
Freeman claims that he ordered the patches for former British Cycling and Team Sky coach Shane Sutton to treat erectile dysfunction – something Sutton strenuously denies.
Sky Sports reports that on Friday the tribunal heard evidence from Dr Max Henderson, who examined him last year.
Henderson said he believed Freeman was "terrified" of Sutton and described their relationship as one of "fear and subjugation".
"The bullying could have lowered the threshold for him to order Testogel," he said.
"I'm not sure that bullying was the reason for ordering the Testogel. It's my opinion that he was being bullied by Sutton but there were a range of factors that made him more vulnerable.
"I don't think there was a tipping point as such. The point about the relationship he had with Mr Sutton, as I understand it, is that it moved him close to the point that he may have made a decision that he wouldn't have again made."
The hearing continues.