Truth & Rumors: Charges against doc are bad news for Woods

Wednesday May 19th, 2010

The heat is being turned way up on Anthony Galea, the Canadian doctor who treated Tiger Woods' knee injury. As reported Tuesday, Galea had a 21-page indictment filed against him for illegally providing athletes with HGH. The Daily News' Mike Lupica brings up some very pointed questions for Woods and some of Galea's other celebrity clients.

More than ever you wonder what Tiger Woods was doing with somebody unlicensed to practice medicine in the United States, but working away on Woods' knee in Orlando, Fla. Same with our guys from New York -- Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes. No one knows if any of them or all are on Dr. Tony's list. But they were all with Galea at some point. What were they doing with him, even as he is constantly described as being a "cutting-edge" genius of blood-spinning? The feds make it official now that they think he was doing a lot more than that.
Of course our guys and all the other guys will say they were with Galea for only the noblest of reasons: Wanting to get better faster. We are expected to believe that while Galea may have been treating other professional athletes from baseball and football with HGH and Actovegin, our guys from New York would never have allowed that to happen with them because, well, that would be wrong, wrong, wrong.
We're supposed to trust them on this, because, hey, they're our guys.
Galea hasn't been indicted yet, just charged in this complaint. His lawyers may very well be negotiating a plea agreement already. But the feds give you those only when you give them something back. At least some of the athletes on the list must be wondering what happens to them if Galea starts to sing.

No matter how you slice it, this news isn't good for Woods. Eventually, he's going to have to explain why the richest, most privileged athlete in the world chose to be treated by a doctor who isn't even qualified to write him a prescription for penicillin in the United States. Even if he never received HGH or any other illegal drugs, Woods is likely to have that pall over him for some time (especially in light of the fact that 24 percent of Tour players already believe he's taken PEDs). It will be most interesting to see what route Galea decides to take with his defense. Will he cut a deal and spill his dirty secrets like Carolina Panther's steroid doc James Shortt, or will he take his chances in the courtroom? Either choice could be bad news for Woods: If Woods cheated and Galea talks to the feds, eventually we'll find out about it. If Woods did nothing wrong and Galea clams up, Woods will likely be found guilty in the court of public opinion, as it will look like Galea is trying to protect him. So buckle up your seat belts, it's only going to get bumpier around here. In more lighthearted Tiger news... Taking a page out of the Veeck family playbook, Pittsburgh Pirates' Single-A affiliate Hickory Crawdads, in Hickory, N.C., will be hosting a "Tiger Woods" night on Thursday. From the team's official web site:

The Crawdads return home on Thursday, May 20 to host the Rome Braves for a 4-game series. The 8-game homestand starts with Thirsty Thursday, featuring $1 beers and Pepsis, presented by Buffalo Wild Wings and KICKS 103.3FM. It will also be Tiger Woods Night, featuring a Tiger Woods obstacle course, dizzy golf club race, Tiger Woods sponsor trivia, and a FREE ticket for anyone with the last name of Woods.
While it may not have the same extreme charm of Veeck creations like Disco Demolition Night, you've got to applaud the Crawdads for at least thinking outside the box a bit. Plus, if they're lucky, they might get a celebrity appearance out of it. Singh-ing the blues Mick Elliott over at Golf Fanhouse leads off a column full of news and notes from around the Tour with some somewhat startling news about PGA Tour stalwart Vijay Singh:
Vijay Singh not ranked among the world's top 50 golfers?
As hard as it is to imagine, it's true. The big Fijian is 47 now and has had his share of physical ailment, but it's hard not to still think of him as one of the game's elite players.

Still, he has not won since 2008 and so far this year has only one top-10. In Singh's last five events, he has a withdrawal, three missed cuts and last week's T-64.
The result is that this week's World Golf Rankings list him at No. 51.

As Elliott goes on to note, only the top 50 golfers in the world get an exemption for the U.S. Open, and the way that he's playing right now there is no guarantee that Singh would be a lock to qualify. At 47 years old, it shouldn't be surprising to see Singh's game start to fade, but for some reason I find it absolutely shocking. Maybe it's because of the great play of veterans like Tom Watson and Kenny Perry, or maybe it's just that Vijay hasn't fallen out of the top 50 in 18 years, but I'm not ready to see the big man hang up his spikes just yet. Here's hoping whatever has gone wrong with Vijay's swing rights itself at the Byron Nelson so he gets a chance to make one last run at Pebble Beach, where he finished T8 in 2000. In other news

OK, this might not actually qualify as news, but it's probably the most adorable thing you're likely to see on a golf course today. (Via USA Today)

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