IN A SPIN? THE IMPACT OF THE DR RICHARD FREEMAN DECISION ON CYCLING AND THE WIDER SPORTING ENVIRONMENT
Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC
In a case that has only served to underline the concerns that have pervaded the sport of cycling, the finding of the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service that Dr Richard Freeman should be permanently struck off the register has marked a new low in the concerns around performance- enhancing drugs and cycling.
It is particularly unfortunate that the finding of the Tribunal, in March 2021,that Dr Freeman was to be permanently struck off the medical register should have attracted the publicity that it has. Given that the events which underpin the finding took place almost a decade ago and as a consequence, the long shadow of suspicion coupled with the chatter of speculation will now be inevitably cast over those sports professionals who achieved so much over 2 Olympics in 2012 and 2016, where 24 medals were won, and in the Tour de France where between 2012 – 2018, 6 victories were won. What are the lessons to be learnt from this recent ruling for those involved not only in cycling but in other sporting fields?