Freeman v General Medical Council [2023] EWHC 45 (Admin)

Former British Cycling and Team Sky chief doctor Richard Freeman has failed to overturn the decision to permanently strike him off the medical register.  The appeal was dismissed on all grounds by Fordham J after a two-day hearing in the Administrative Court in Manchester. 

Dr Freeman was formerly the team doctor for British Cycling and Team Sky. Dr Freeman was found to have ordered the banned substance Testogel in 2011 and subsequently to have lied about it to the UK Anti-Doping Authority. An important part of Dr Freeman’s defence was that he ordered it for Shane Sutton, head coach at British Cycling and Team Sky, to treat erectile dysfunction. Dr Freeman’s hearing before the Medical Practitioners Tribunal lasted a total of 72 days.

It is reported that the principal basis for the appeal was that the MPT had erred in finding Mr Sutton to be a credible witness, despite the fact he had stormed out of the hearing during cross-examination and refused to return. 

The BBC reported that in the High Court, Mr Justice Fordham said there is “nothing within the tribunal’s approach, reasoning or conclusions” that was “wrong” and “still less any respect” that would undermine the overall conclusion.

Freeman was also ordered to pay the GMC’s costs of £23,000.

His legal team, JMW Solicitors, said they were “disappointed by the judgment of the High Court” to reject his appeal against the MPTS’ decision.