Team Sky 'Jiffy bag' doctor defends publishing book before Tour de France

Former Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman in a 2014 team photoshoot

Former Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman in a 2014 team photoshoot (Image credit: Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Richard Freeman, the British sports doctor at the centre of the Jiffy bag scandal that undermined the credibility of Team Sky, has claimed his soon to be published book will give insights into how "a new integrated performance health management and coaching model has supported some of our great sporting heroes in achieving their goals."

The book is called The Line: Where Medicine and Sport Collide and is based on Dr. Freeman's philosophy that "patients and their coaches are given the best medical advice to ensure that they are able to reach their own inherent best performance without ever crossing the medical or sporting ethical line ... It's never about winning at all costs".

It is due to be published on June 28, just a week before a start of this year's Tour de France. The book's publisher claims that Dr. Freeman "gives a frank and open account in response to allegations of misuse of medical treatment to enhance performance."

Dr. Freeman has kept a low profile since being caught up in the Jiffy bag scandal in late 2016. He refused to face questions at the British Parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport Committee citing ill health, only giving written answers to some questions. He eventually resigned from his position at British Cycling late in 2017.

It was claimed the Jiffy bag, which was intended for Bradley Wiggins, contained the decongestant Fluimucil, but a detailed investigation into alleged wrong-doing by UK Anti-Doping was unable to confirm the contents of the package. Dr. Freeman claimed he lost his medical records when his laptop was lost during a holiday in Greece.

Dr. Freeman has been criticised by Parliament for announcing a book deal that appears to cash in on the affair. Dr. Freeman, Team Sky and Bradley Wiggins have always insisted that no wrongdoing took place.

"It is disappointing that Richard Freeman wants to tell his story, rather than be questioned about it in front of the committee," the Telegraph reported Damian Collins, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee that conducted the inquiry into doping in sport, as saying.

"We will take a close interest in anything he says which is related to our inquiry and report."

Dr. Freeman has worked with several of Britain's Olympians, with many praising his work in reviews of his book. "Dr. Freeman is a man of great integrity and kindness. His care has helped me through the good times and the hardships of competing in the highest level of sport," Wiggins is reported as saying.

"Doc Freeman was a great support during my time at Team Sky. He was always a relaxed and confident doctor, even in pressured situations and was just a joy to have around," Richie Porte reportedly said, referring to his time when he rode for Team Sky.

"You felt like he really cared about your health, making sure he always stayed in touch and across everything whenever I was recovering from being sick or injured. Not only is he a brilliant doctor who I loved working with, he was also just a great person to talk to, always understanding the human side of what can sometimes be a fickle sport."

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