Skip to main content

Canadian doctor charged in alleged PED scheme

Dr. Anthony Galea has treated a number of different athletes, including Tiger Woods in his recovery of a knee injury.
Dr. Anthony Galea has treated a number of different athletes, including Tiger Woods in his recovery of a knee injury.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Four drug-related charges brought against Canadian sports Dr. Anthony Galea
  • Charges relate to use of Actovegin, a potentially performance-enhancing drug
  • Galea has treated several athletes, including golfer Tiger Woods

(CNN) -- A Canadian sports doctor has been charged in Toronto with selling what some athletes consider to be a performance-enhancing drug, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Wednesday.

Anthony Michael Galea, 51, of Oakville, Ontario, was charged with selling an unapproved drug, conspiracy to import the drug; conspiracy to export and smuggling goods into Canada.

The investigation got under way last September, when Galea's assistant was taken into custody departing Canada with Actovegin, the RCMP said in a statement that alleged Galea was planning to administer the drug to some of his patients outside Canada.

Actovegin, a derivative of calf's liver blood, is approved for use in some European countries. A report in Clinicaltrials.gov shows that it has been investigated as a possible treatment for nerve damage in diabetics, though it has not been approved for use in the United States.

The RCMP investigators also allege that Galea administered the drugs to patients and conspired to export them to the United States.

Video: Doctor accused in PED scheme
RELATED TOPICS

On October 15, Canadian officials executed a search warrant on Galea's medical facilities, the Institute of Sports Medicine Health and Wellness Center, resulting in the seizure of unapproved drugs, believed to be Actovegin, from the doctor's office, the RCMP statement said.

Galea is to appear Friday morning at Old City Hall Court in Toronto. One of Galea's patients was Tiger Woods, whom he treated last year after the golfer underwent knee surgery.

In a written statement, Woods' agent Mark Steinberg at IMG said his client received a "widely accepted therapy" from Galea.

Steinberg disputed a New York Times report in which Galea claimed IMG referred Woods to him for treatment.

"Despite totally false press speculation, no one at IMG has ever met or recommended Dr. Galea, nor were we worried about the progress of Tiger's recovery," Steinberg said. "The treatment Tiger received is a widely accepted therapy and to suggest some connection with illegality is recklessly irresponsible. That rehabilitation did not involve human growth hormone, a substance that Tiger has never taken."

Galea has also worked with Olympic athletes and professional baseball, football and hockey players.

Brian H. Greenspan, Galea's lawyer, denied his client ever supplied any star athletes with performance-enhancing drugs and said his client would prove his innocence of all charges.

"Tiger Woods happened to be a patient he [Galea] assisted in his rehabilitation program after his surgery," Greenspan told reporters Tuesday.

"According to all reports, he was very successful in assisting Tiger Woods to return to golf earlier than was anticipated," he added.