Doctor Linked to Tiger Woods Facing Drug Charges - NBC Chicago

Doctor Linked to Tiger Woods Facing Drug Charges



    Doctor Linked to Tiger Woods Facing Drug Charges
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    SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 10: Tiger Woods of the USA Team plays his second shot at the 16th hole during the Day Three Afternoon Fourball Matches in The Presidents Cup at Harding Park Golf Course on October 10, 2009 in San Francisco, California (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Tiger Woods

    A Canadian doctor who has treated Tiger WoodsDr. Anthony Galea – and who is now under investigation by the FBI for suspicion of providing athletes with performance enhancing drugs, has been charged with selling an unapproved drug in Canada.

    On Wednesday, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police issued a news release that Dr. Anthony Galea, had been charged by the RCMP's Greater Toronto Area Federal Enforcement Section with selling an unapproved drug, known as Actovegin.

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    According to the Los Angeles Times, Actovegin is "essentially calf's blood extract." And the product listing described it as a drug that, "produces an organ-unrelated increase of the cellular energy metabolism."

    But Karen Riley, a press rep for the FDA had little information on the substance.

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    "We don't have it on our books," Riley told the LA Times. "It would have to go through an FDA approval process, and I don't have any record of that product."

    Dr. Galea was also charged by the RCMP with conspiracy to import an unapproved drug, conspiracy to export a drug and smuggling goods into Canada that go against the country's Custom's Act.

    Canadian police arrested Dr. Galea in October.

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    The New York Times reported on Monday that Human Growth Hormone, HGH, was previously found in his medical bags at the U.S. border. Dr. Galea claims he uses HGH himself, which is not illegal in Canada, but has never treated professional athletes with the drug.

    Dr. Galea's attorney, Brian H. Greenspan, made it very clear at a press conference in Toronto on Tuesday that a criminal investigation into the doctor and his treatment of Woods were unrelated.

    "If you are here to ask about Tiger Woods, that is not the story today," the attorney said at Tuesday's press conference. "Tiger Woods happened to be a patient that he assisted in his rehab program."

    When asked if Woods is still a patient of Galea's the attorney said, "You would have to ask Tiger Woods."

    The New York Times reported on Tuesday that Dr. Galea is the sports medicine specialist who helped Woods recover following knee surgery in June of 2008.

    The Times reported that Dr. Galea said Woods' agents at International Management Group (IMG) were upset over how long Woods' rehabilitation was taking. The doctor told the paper that he flew down to Orlando, Florida, four times in order to treat the golfer with platelet therapy, which is not illegal in the United States.

    Dr. Galea's rep said that Galea was never engaged in any wrongdoing or any impropriety.

    Following publication of the Times' story, Woods' agent at IMG, Mark Steinberg, released a statement to the Associated Press.

    "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," Steinberg's statement read.

    But on Tuesday afternoon, The Times sent Access Hollywood a statement, saying they had reached out to Steinberg many times and he offered just short e-mail responses, including asking the paper, "that you guys don't write this? If Tiger is NOT implicated, and won't be, let's please give the kid a break."

    "Mr. Steinberg's statement [released to the AP] is insulting and off base. Dr. Galea told us he treated Mr. Woods and that Mr. Woods had been referred to him by I.M.G. and this was confirmed by another source. We made this clear to Mr. Steinberg of I.M.G. and asked for his response. We gave Mr. Woods's representatives every opportunity to respond to our reporting on Monday," a rep for the Times said in a statement to Access.

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