Ex-British Cycling doctors at odds over drug exemption for Britain’s most-successful female Paralympian Sarah Storey
- Application for ‘therapeutic use exemption’ certificate was made retrospectively
- Dr Richard Freeman says he was asked to get involved by professor Steve Peters
- Peters, then British Cycling’s head of medicine, denies overseeing application
- The British Paralympic Association insist Storey’s TUE was above board
The controversy over a ‘therapeutic use exemption’ certificate issued to Britain’s most-successful female Paralympian, Sarah Storey, at the London 2012 Games, has taken a fresh twist with two former British Cycling doctors at odds over their roles in the case.
Dr Richard Freeman, a British Cycling doctor at the time who did not attend those Games, has told this newspaper that his boss at the time, professor Steve Peters, then British Cycling’s head of medicine, asked him to fill in some forms relating to the application.
The TUE application for Storey was made retrospectively after a urine sample from August 30 2012 came back with high levels of a performance-enhancing substance, sal-butamol, commonly used to treat asthma.
The British Paralympic Association insist Sarah Storey’s TUE was above board
Storey, now 43, won four London 2012 golds, and the retrospective TUE was applied for on September 7 2012.
‘I wasn’t even at the Para-lympics but Steve Peters instructed me to get involved in this TUE,’ says Freeman.
Peters, at that time, was on the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) panel of TUE experts who would decide on whether a TUE should be issued. UKAD have confirmed this, adding that on this occasion, UKAD had no specific role in this Games certificate. The British Paralympic Association insist Storey’s TUE was above board.
Peters told the MoS: ‘I didn’t oversee the application. I don’t know who actually applied for it. I don’t know which doctors she [Storey] saw. I don’t know who is on the panel. I also wasn’t present when this happened. No doctor instructs any other doctor to do anything … for clarification I was an attending doctor [at the London Paralympics] in psychiatry and not physical medicine.’
The application for TUE certificate was made retrospectively after an adverse finding
The MoS asked Peters to clarify what he meant by no doctor instructing another doctor to do anything. As this newspaper revealed in March, we have seen documentary evidence of Peters telling Freeman in 2011 to send an email to British Cycling riders and staff about private urine tests after one rider had returned an irregular urine test containing traces of the banned anabolic steroid nandrolone in late 2010.
A spokesman for Peters said: ‘As previously explained, Prof Peters has never instructed Dr Freeman. Also, as explained previously, no doctor instructs another doctor to do anything. He [Freeman] may have been consulted at the time [by Peters] to explain the TUE pro-cess.’
It is not known why Peters would be unfamiliar with the TUE pro-cess when he sat on an expert UKAD TUE panel at the time.
The Mail on Sunday can also reveal today that both Freeman and Peters are among ex-British Cycling staff members to have been contacted since last month about an internal British Cycling probe into how British Cycling were effectively allowed by UKAD to investigate themselves following the nandrolone positive mentioned above.
The news comes as the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) enter a ninth week of their own investigation into UKAD, for the latter’s alleged dereliction of responsibility in letting British Cycling investigate themselves in 2011.
Dr Richard Freeman, who did not attend the 2012 Games, says he was asked to get involved
As this newspaper revealed in March, the private British Cycling investigation ruled out supplement contamination as a reason for the anomalous finding, and also ruled out rare high levels of nandrolone production in the cyclists concerned.
Peters has not answered a question sent by the MoS over whether he has been helping British Cycling with their inquiries. Freeman feels unable to cooperate with British Cycling because the latter still have possession of one of his laptops on which most of his records are stored, and are refusing to return it to him.
It is understood Freeman has had some contact with WADA’s intelligence and investigations department, and wants to share everything he knows about what happened at British Cycling and at Team Sky when he worked there, from 2009 to 2017.