BRITISH Cycling’s former doctor Richard Freeman claims he would have been a “gamekeeper” rather than a “poacher” with regards to looking after riders.

Dr Freeman, who was chief doctor at Bolton Wanderers from 2001 to 2008, is accused of ordering testosterone “knowing or believing” it was to be given to a rider to enhance performance during his time working for the national governing body and Team Sky in 2011.

Dr Freeman, who is subject of a fitness-to-practise hearing at the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service in Manchester, has denied this charge.

While continuing to give evidence on Wednesday, Dr Freeman was asked by General Medical Council QC Simon Jackson if a medic with awareness of doping could use that knowledge to become “gamekeeper turned poacher”.

Dr Freeman admitted he knew little of cycling or doping when he first came into the sport but made it his duty to learn. Once armed with the information, he would use it to protect riders, he said. Dr Freeman worked for Bolton Wanderers before taking up his dual role at the National Cycling Centre in 2009.

He said: “When I went into football there was hardly any talk of doping. We hardly had any tests out of competition. When I went into cycling it was a real eye-opener.”

Dr Freeman has admitted 18 of the 22 charges he is facing. The hearing continues.