Tony Galea, Canadian doctor linked to A-Rod and Tiger Woods, charged with giving HGH
Tony Galea, the Toronto sports doctor who has worked with Alex Rodriguez, Tiger Woods, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes and other professional athletes, was named in a federal criminal complaint alleging he provided human growth hormone and other unapproved drugs to professional football players.
The 19-page complaint, which could pave the way for an indictment or plea bargaining, does not name any athletes. It accuses Galea of smuggling, lying to federal officials, unlawful distribution of HGH, introducing the unapproved drug Actovegin into interstate commerce and conspiracy to defraud the United States.
According to one person briefed on the federal probe into Galea's medical practice, investigators have focused on at least one member of the Washington Redskins who Galea's executive assistant, MaryAnne Catalano, identified as one of Galea's patients.
Catalano, who was arrested last September at the U.S.-Canada border in a vehicle carrying human growth hormone and other drugs, is cooperating with investigators. She is not named in Tuesday's complaint, but details of her arrest match those of the confidential witness described in the complaint as having helped arrange Galea's treatment of professional athletes, including one in the Washington D.C. area.
The Redskins referred questions to the National Football League, and league spokesperson Greg Aiello released a statement saying it had not been informed of the identity of the players.
"We obviously have a very strong interest in learning who these players are and about their involvement with any prohibited substances so that we can enforce our policies," said the NFL statement. "When we have had evidence of illegal purchase, possession, or use of HGH, we have imposed discipline and are fully prepared to do so again if the facts support it. We have been in touch with law enforcement and will continue to cooperate with the federal authorities as the case moves forward."
The complaint, filed by a special agent Justin Burnham of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, says that Burnham and other federal agents interviewed athletes Galea regularly treated in the U.S., including athletes from Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and the Professional Golf Association.
"Despite not being licensed to practices medicine here, Dr Galea entered the United States from Canada numerous times from 2007 to September 2009 and worked here as a doctor providing medical services to numerous professional athletes, billed them for services and expenses, and sold medications to them," the complaint alleges.