Tiger Woods was interviewed by federal investigators about his dealings with Anthony Galea, a Canadian doctor who was charged with smuggling human growth hormone and unlawfully distributing it within the U.S.
“Tiger willingly spoke to authorities and cooperated fully,” the top-ranked golfer’s agent Mark Steinberg said in an e-mail last night. “It was confirmed that, because he did nothing illegal, he is not the subject of any criminal investigation.”
Woods said at a news conference at the Masters Tournament in April that Galea treated him while he recovered from June 2008 knee surgery. He said the doctor “never gave me HGH” or any other performance-enhancing drug.
Galea, 50, was stopped at the border in early 2009 and told by officials that he couldn’t bring certain medical supplies into the U.S. Another person was caught in September bringing supplies into New York at the direction of Galea, leading to the smuggling charge, said prosecutors in the office of the U.S. attorney in Buffalo, New York. Galea isn’t licensed to practice in the U.S.
The interview with Woods is part of a second round of meetings the authorities are conducting with athletes who have been treated by Galea, the New York Times said on its website.
A voice-mail message left last night for Special Agent Earl Gould, the media coordinator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Buffalo, wasn’t returned.
Galea has also treated New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. The three-time Most Valuable Player told investigators for Major League Baseball that he was seen by Galea while recovering from 2009 hip surgery, according to the Times. The treatment didn’t include banned substances, Rodriguez, who admitted in February 2009 to using performance- enhancing drugs from 2001 to 2003, told the newspaper.
The smuggling charge carries a maximum prison term of 20 years, prosecutors said. Another charge, of making false statements to federal officials, carries a maximum five-year term, as do the HGH and conspiracy charges. Introducing an unapproved drug into interstate commerce carries a maximum three-year term.
Brian Greenspan, an attorney for Galea at Greenspan, Humphrey, Lavine in Toronto, didn’t return a message left at his office after regular business hours last night.
The case is USA v. Galea, 10-mj-02078, U.S. District Court, Western District of New York (Buffalo).