The medical tribunal of former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman has been pushed back again ©Getty Images

A private legal discussion is expected to further delay the start of the medical tribunal of former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman until the end of the week at the earliest.

The tribunal is set to examine the conduct of Freeman.

It had originally been due to start last Wednesday (February 6).

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 St James' Buildings in Manchester himself and no reason for the delay was revealed.

A further preliminary application was reportedly filed on Friday (February 8), which was expected to delay the start of the case until either today or tomorrow.

According to the BBC, the legal argument is now expected to continue until the end of this week, which will push back the start of the tribunal.

There remains a danger that the tribunal could miss its slot and need to be rescheduled entirely due to time considerations and the availability of lawyers.

This could potentially take months.

Freeman 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.

Freeman faces accusations that he ordered testosterone to enhance the performance of an athlete.

A total of 30 sachets of testogel, a substance banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, 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.

Richard Freeman's conduct will be assessed at the tribunal ©Getty Images
Richard Freeman's conduct will be assessed at the tribunal ©Getty Images

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.

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

Freeman left British Cycling in 2017, with the doctor citing stress over ongoing investigations as the reason for his resignation.

Poor health was given as the reason he did not provide evidence to a Parliamentary Select Committee hearing in March the same year.

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.

Freeman has also been at the centre of controversy regarding the jiffy bag saga surrounding five-time Olympic gold medallist and Tour de France champion Sir Bradley Wiggins.

He was accused of failing to keep adequate medical records after he claimed a mysterious package sent to Sir Bradley at the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2011 claimed the legal decongestant flumicil.

Neither Freeman nor Team Sky could prove it after his laptop containing medical records was allegedly stolen.