Legal discussions have further delayed a medical tribunal into former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman ©Getty Images

A medical tribunal looking into the conduct of former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman has been further delayed.

The Medical Practitioners Tribunal, looking to establish whether Freeman ordered testosterone in 2011 to enhance the performance of an athlete, was originally supposed to start on February 6, but has been repeatedly delayed by legal discussions.

Initially a 48-hour extension applied for by his barrister Mary O’Rourke was granted by a three-person panel and then a further preliminary application was filed on February 8.

It was then thought the tribunal could start today (February 20), however the legal discussions are reportedly now set to head into a third week.

"We were read to open our case on the first day of the hearing and that remains the case now," a General Medical Council spokesperson told the BBC.

"However, as with any legal proceedings the defence are entitled to raise preliminary matters, and we continue to assist the tribunal with their consideration of those matters.

"We remain ready to open our case and are eager to do so as soon as possible."

Freeman resigned from his position with British Cycling in 2017 citing stress caused by the investigation and also failed to provide evidence to a Parliamentary Select Committee hearing in March of that year.

The reason for the repeated delays has not been confirmed, although they are thought to relate to Freeman's health.

The opposing legal teams continue to argue their cases in private regarding the preliminary application.

Richard Freeman previously worked for Team Sky and British Cycling ©Getty Images
Richard Freeman previously worked for Team Sky and British Cycling ©Getty Images

Concern has been expressed that the tribunal could miss its slot and need to be rescheduled entirely due to time considerations and the availability of lawyers.

That could cause a delay of several months.

On top of being charged with ordering testosterone to enhance the performance of an athlete, Freeman has also been accused of lying to conceal his motive.

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

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 contained the legal decongestant flumicil.

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