Richard Freeman's tribunal has been delayed ©Getty Images

A medical tribunal hearing into the conduct of former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman has been adjourned until Friday (February 8).

The proceedings were due to begin in Manchester today but Freeman's barrister Mary O'Rourke applied for a 48-hour extension which was granted by a three-person panel.

Freeman did not attend the city's St James' Buildings himself and no reason for the delay will be revealed.

The doctor has been accused by the General Medical Council (GMC) of "inappropriately" providing medical treatment to non-athletes, and failing to inform three patients' GPs of "medication prescribed and reasons for prescribing".

He is also accused of poor record keeping and failing to maintain an "adequate record management system".

The doctor denies any wrongdoing.

He is due to face accusations that he ordered testosterone to enhance the performance of an athlete. 

Thirty sachets of testogel, which is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), were posted to British Cycling's headquarters in 2011.

According to Freeman this order was placed in error, but an investigation carried out by the GMC has alleged that this explanation was dishonest.

He has been accused of contacting company Fit4Sport Ltd to ask for confirmation that the order was a mistake.

Freeman also allegedly told UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) investigators that the testogel had been ordered for a "non-athlete member of staff".

The GMC has also concluded that this was a lie.

Richard Freeman worked for the highly-successful Team Sky outfit
Richard Freeman worked for the highly-successful Team Sky outfit

Freeman was due to be quizzed on who he ordered the testogel for and whether he ordered it for staff members without their knowledge.

Staff from both British Cycling and Team Sky are due to be called as witnesses at the tribunal, to confirm if they were aware medication had been ordered for them.

If they deny knowledge, it will spark further questions over who the drugs were for.

Freeman resigned from British Cycling in 2017, citing stress over ongoing investigations.

He also did not provide evidence to a Parliamentary Select Committee hearing in March of that year, blaming poor health. 

Any new evidence that emerges from the tribunal could spark a fresh UKAD investigation, which could lead to Freeman being charged with an anti-doping rule violation if the evidence warrants it.

The testosterone issue is not the only controversial case to have emerged involving Freeman. 

He was accused of failing to keep adequate medical records after the mysterious jiffy bag saga surrounding Olympic and Tour de France champion Sir Bradley Wiggins.

In 2016 it emerged a mysterious package had been mailed to Sir Bradley at the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2011.

Freeman claimed the package contained the legal decongestant flumicil, although neither he or Team Sky could prove it after his laptop containing medical records was stolen.

In December, broadcast giant Sky announced it will end its involvement in cycling at the end of the 2019 season, saying it was "the right time" to leave.

To date the team has registered 322 total victories, including eight Grand Tours, 52 other stage races and 25 one-day races.