The doctor at the heart of the Team Sky and British Cycling doping storm has been ‘thrown under the bus’ by Sir Dave Brailsford, according to a former sport psychologist who worked with the pair.
Much of the focus of alleged wrongdoing at Team Sky has centred on Dr Richard Freeman, who still works as a medic for British Cycling.
UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) chiefs revealed last week that there were gaps in the record-keeping of Freeman and a large order of triamcinolone that Team Sky have been unable to explain.
Dave Readle says Dr Richaerd Freeman has been ‘thrown under the bus’ by Sir Dave Brailsford
Much of the focus of alleged wrongdoing at Team Sky has centred on Dr Richard Freeman
Sportsmail also revealed that Freeman told UKAD investigators that he had administered triamcinolone — a drug that is banned in competition without a medical certificate — to staff and non-athletes.
A picture of a rogue doctor has emerged but Dave Readle, who worked closely with top riders in his role as a sport psychologist at British Cycling between 2009 and 2014, says he has been made into the fall guy.
‘I worked mostly in the same office with Richard for four or five years,’ said Readle. ‘I’m annoyed that nobody seems to be speaking up for him.
‘He’s not just been thrown under the bus, he’s been held down for the bus to run over him a few times,’ added Readle.
Readle, a former British Cycling sports psychologist, has come to the defence of Dr Freeman
‘He would not have taken any decisions on his own back, he does as he’s told because that’s the kind of guy he is. He’s not an arrogant rogue doctor who’s going to take it upon himself to run some kind of drugs programme.
‘Besides that, at British Cycling and Team Sky they have meetings about meetings so I believe they would know what was going on.
‘If he has done all this he’s been following orders, the Richard I know wouldn’t cheat the system. Nobody at spineless British Cycling is standing up and noting the good things he’s done.’
Dr Freeman pulled out of an appearance before the Culture, Media and Sport select committee last week, claiming he was unwell. He had been due to face a grilling about a mystery Jiffy bag package that was delivered to the Criterium du Dauphine race in France in 2011, a race won by Team Sky’s former star rider Sir Bradley Wiggins.
But Readle defended the no-show. He said: ‘Richard has to take the head off the snake but he’s not that sort of guy. If everyone’s out to get you and nobody’s got your back, you’d be an idiot to put yourself in the firing line.’