Monday, July 19, 2010

BUFFALO, N.Y. — U.S. authorities have charged a Canadian doctor with unlawfully treating professional football players with unapproved drugs, including human growth hormone.

\nDr. Anthony Galea, of Toronto, is named in a federal criminal complaint filed Tuesday in Buffalo.

\nThe complaint charges the doctor with lying to federal officials, smuggling, unlawful distribution of HGH, introducing the unapproved drug actovegin into interstate commerce and conspiracy to defraud the United States.

\nAccording to court documents, Galea's clients include at least three National Football League players. One allegedly had two HGH kits delivered to his home while another received actovegin injections.

\nGalea also treated major league baseball players and pro golfers, but the charges pertain to the NFL players. No athletes were named.

\nGalea's lawyer was in court and not immediately available to comment.

\nIn December the New York Times reported Galea had visited Tiger Woods in his home while Woods was recovering from knee surgery. At the Masters in April, Woods confirmed that he was treated by Galea, but he denied ever taking any performance-enhancing drugs. Woods said he was treated by Galea after hearing he worked with several top athletes.

\n"He never gave me HGH or any PEDs," Woods said. "I've never taken that my entire life. I've never taken any illegal drug, ever, for that matter."

\nWoods said Galea performed platelet-rich plasma therapy. Galea took blood from Woods's arm, spun it in a centrifuge and injected the plasma back into Woods's body. The procedure is not uncommon in sports and is supposed to improve recovery time and possibly keep athletes out of the operating room.

\nIn an interview with the Golf Channel last week, Woods's former instructor Hank Haney said he never suspected Woods took PEDs, and he witnessed Galea perform the procedure on Woods.

\n"I was there and watched the whole procedure," Haney said. "There was never anything that went into Tiger Woods' body that didn't come out of his body. They take blood out, they spin it, they inject the plasma back in. I totally believe that Tiger Woods has never taken any performance-enhancing drugs."

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