Anthony Galea HGH Smuggling Case Turns into Celebrity Athlete Witch-Hunt

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Canadian doctor Anthony Galea, a sports medicine pioneer who has treated professional athletes from a variety of sports, has pleaded guilty to illegally smuggling performance-enhancing drugs into the United States and providing them to athletes from the National Football League and the Professional Golfer’s Association. Galea admitted to routinely smuggling human growth hormone (hGH) and Actovegin across Peace Bridge at the United States – Canadian border. One of the most famous athletes treated by Dr. Galea was golfer Tiger Woods. 

U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara ordered Dr. Galea to reveal the names of his celebrity clients who were receiving the performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). Galea has been a highly regarded sports medicine specialist who has treated hundreds of elite and professional athletes. Apparently, Judge Arcara couldn’t wait to turn this case into a celebrity athlete witch-hunt guaranteeing greater exposure and notoriety for the Judge should any athletes be indicted as a result.

U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara looked down from his bench, and asked the question that has been on sports fans’ lips since Canadian sport physician Anthony Galea was charged last year with smuggling unapproved drugs across the border.

“Who was receiving these drugs?”

Prosecutors had refused to confirm the names of Dr. Galea’s patients. But at Wednesday’s guilty-plea hearing, Judge Arcara bluntly ordered them to “come out with it.”

Dr. Galea told the judge that golfer Tiger Woods, current San Franciso 49ers football player Takeo Spikes and former Baltimore Ravens football player Jamal Lewis were some of the recipients of various treatments offered by Galea.  The Globe and Mail clearly tries to imply that these athletes were recipients of performance-enhancing drugs. However, the treatments provided to these athletes has not been explicitly described.

Several professional athletes were interviewed during the course of the Galea investigation conducted by agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). One of at least three NFL football players told investigators that Galea had two HGH kits shipped directly to his home.

The plea agreement compels Dr. Galea to cooperate fully with federal investigators. United States Attorney William Hochul Jr. has made it clear that he intends to prosecute professional athletes for perjury if the information they provided during interviews with federal agents proves to be inconsistent with information provided by Dr. Galea.

“If there was untruthful information … yes, they would be charged with lying to investigators,” Mr. Hochul said at a press conference.

Another athlete witch-hunt would certainly give U.S. Attorney Hochul and U.S. District Judge Arcara plenty of headlines and national and international exposure given the high-profile of some of Dr. Galea’s clients e.g. Tiger Woods.

Anthony Galea

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