Team Doctor

Richard Freeman is Team Sky's longest-serving doctor and has become an integral part of the backroom staff since the team's launch in 2010.

Freeman graduated from Cambridge University and the Manchester Medical School in 1984 and spent four years in hospital training before working primarily in general practice for the next 14 years.

His first sports-based appointment came in 1994 when he became a supervising officer of the Football Association's doping control programme - a post he would hold for three years - and he broadened his horizons in the years that followed by taking diverse medical roles in golf, boxing, softball and rallying.

It was football though, where Freeman initially focused his attentions, and after one season with the Bolton Wanderers academy side in 2001-02, he was promoted to first-team duties.

The Lancastrian spent five seasons at the Premier League club in a part-time capacity, but went full time for the 2006-07 season before being appointed Head of Sports Science and Medical Department the following year. He held that role until September 2008 before taking over as the European Golf Tour's medical officer in 2009.

As the golf season came to a close, Freeman was approached by British Cycling to work at the World Championships in Mendrisio, and after making an immediate impression there, he was asked to combine that role as Team Sky's doctor during their debut campaign.

Freeman has continued to work with both teams since then, and as well as taking part in two Tour de France's, he also provided care for Team GB's cyclists as they achieved unparalleled success at the London Olympic Games.

He said: "I've always been an avid cycling fan so the chance to work with Team Sky and British Cycling was something I couldn't pass up.

"I'd got a taste for working in cycling back at the Commonwealth Games in 2002, but the doping problems the sport was experiencing on the continent back then was something I never wanted to be part of.

"Team Sky's strict anti-doping policy and overall vision really appealed to me though, and made me reconsider. I've enjoyed every minute of the last three seasons - the sport is cleaner now than it has been in years and that's down to teams like Sky showing what's possible without the need for doping."

Freeman - who is also a qualified osteopath - spends approximately 50 days a year on the road with the team and when he is not at the races, he continues to treat riders from his base at the Manchester Velodrome.

As well as his responsibilities to the team, he continues to work one day a week for the National Health Service, and his medical expertise was recognised in 2007 when he became a Fellow of the Faculty of Sports and Exercise - one of the highest distinctions in the profession.

In his spare time, Freeman spends as much time as he can with his four children and lists scuba diving and cycling as his pastimes of choice.

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