Dr. Richard Freeman, the doctor at the centre of the UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) investigation into allegations of wrongdoing in British cycling will not be part of the Great Britain team in Qatar for the Road World Championships.
British Cycling told the Guardian newspaper that Dr. Freeman will not travel with the team of time trialists and road racers that will compete for this week.
"This was a decision jointly reached by the team management and Richard," the governing body said, according to a report in the Guardian. "The riders in Doha will instead be supported by UCI medical team at the worlds, alongside the usual GBCT (Great Britain Cycling Team) support staff."
Andy Harrison, British Cycling's programmes director said "This was a decision taken with the best interests of Richard and the riders at heart. We have every confidence that the team will get all the support they need."
Freeman, British Cycling, Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky have become embroiled in a series of unanswered questions in recent weeks after the hackers calling themselves Fancy Bears leaked Wiggins' TUE history, revealing he had intramuscular injections of Triamcinolone before major Grand Tours, one of which - the Tour de France in 2012 – Wiggins won.
Although Wiggins and Team Sky never broke any rules with their application and use of the substance via the TUE system, it has sparked criticism from many circles, raised eyebrows amongst several respected doctors who questioned the timing and nature of the TUE use. The 36-year-old has been left to defend himself over the timing of the injections, his previous claims that he had never used needles, and the veracity of the illness that led to the treatment.
On Thursday, Wiggins and Team Sky faced further scrutiny after a report in the Daily Mail told of a delivery of a medical package from the UK to the Team Sky bus on the final stage of the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine, with allegations of a 'private' session between Wiggins and Dr. Freeman in the back of the bus.
Dr. Freeman was implicated in alleged use of the legal, but highly criticised, painkiller Tramadol by the Great Britain team at the 2012 World Championships.
In a BBC interview Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, who was later banned for two years after anomalies were detected in his biological passport from 2012, before he made the move from Endura Racing to Team Sky, claimed he was offered the painkiller from a doctor but that he turned it down. During the BBC interview he did not name the doctor in question but has since told Cyclingnews that it was Dr. Richard Freeman, then of Team Sky, and now of British Cycling, who allegedly made the offer.
Cyclingnews understands that British Cycling put the allegation of Tradamdol use, or the use of any other strong pain killer, to the doctor in question, and that he has denied it.
Officials from UKAD visited the British Manchester velodrome on Friday as the anti-doping body began its investigation into multiple allegations of wrongdoing in the sport. The Daily Mail newspaper described the visit as a 'drug swoop'. However, UKAD, British Cycling and Team Sky denied the velodrome was raided saying the visit was made with British Cycling's "full co-operation".
British Cycling issued a brief statement late on Friday evening, saying simply: "British Cycling can confirm there is an ongoing UKAD investigation with which we are cooperating fully. We are unable to comment further at this stage."
With so many questions still to be answered it was logical that Dr. Freeman did not get on the plane to Qatar.