A Canadian doctor, who has treated embattled superstar golfer Tiger Woods and other athletes, was reportedly arrested for possessing performance enhancing drugs. The New York Times says Dr. Anthony Galea (left) was caught in late September at the U.S.-Canadian border possessing human growth hormones and Actovegin, a drug extracted from calf's blood. He was arrested a few weeks later.
It is important to point out Woods has not been accused of taking PEDs. In an email to the paper, Woods' agent Mark Steinberg wrote:
"I would really ask that you guys don't write this? If Tiger is NOT implicated, and won't be, let's please give the kid a break."
The PGA Tour also released a statement, saying:
"We have read nothing with respect to the published reports regarding Tiger Woods and Dr. Galea that would suggest a violation of our anti doping policy."
The FBI has opened an investigation based in part on medical records found on Galea's computer relating to several professional athletes, people briefed on the inquiry told The Times. The anonymous sources did not disclose the names of the athletes, and Galea told the newspaper "it would be impossible" for investigators to have found material linking his athletes to PEDs because, he says, he never gave them to any athletes.
"All these athletes come see me in Canada 'cause I fix them, and I think people just assume that I'm giving them stuff," he told the newspaper. "They don't have to come to me to get HGH and steroids. You can walk into your local gym in New York and get HGH."
Galea admits to using HGH on himself for 10 years.
According to the report, Galea has developed a blood-spinning technique -- platelet-rich plasma therapy -- to help speed post-surgery recovery. The FDA approved the injection-based therapy in 2001.
The Times reports Galea visited Woods' home in Florida at least four times in February and March, to provide that platelet therapy after Woods' agents were concerned by his slow recovery from June 2008 knee surgery.
But in a statement, Steinberg said that last part is not true:
"The New York Times is flat wrong, no one at IMG has ever met or recommended Dr. Galea, nor were we worried about the progress of Tiger's recovery, as the Times falsely reported. The treatment Tiger received is a widely accepted therapy and to suggest some connection with illegality is recklessly irresponsible."
The newspaper said Galea also treated NFL players and Olympic swimmer Dara Torres. Torres said in an email to the paper that Galea found a previously undiagnosed tear in her quad tendon.
"Excluding draining my knee, he has never treated me, but I did see his chiropractor who did soft-tissue work on my leg. That was the extent of my visit with him."
Brian H. Greenspan, Galea's attorney, said an investigation will vindicate his client. "Dr. Galea was never engaged in any wrongdoing or any impropriety," Greenspan said. "Not only does he have a reputation that is impeccable, he is a person at the very top of his profession."