A Canadian doctor whose patients previously included golfer Tiger Woods and baseball player Alex Rodriguez pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of bringing steroids and other illegal substances into the U.S.
Anthony Galea, 51, pleaded guilty yesterday to a charge of misleading a U.S. agency by introducing misbranded drugs into the U.S., according to a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara in federal court in Buffalo.
In a complaint filed in May 2010, federal investigators said Galea, a sports medicine physician from Toronto, had traveled to the U.S. since 2007 to treat athletes, although he wasn’t licensed to do so. The misbranded drugs included nutropin, a human growth hormone, and actovegin, a substance derived from calf’s blood, according to an indictment filed in October.
“The defendant admitted to not only bringing unapproved substances into the country repeatedly, but that he also practiced medicine without a license, supervised criminal conduct of others and obstructed justice through the actions of one of the defendant’s Canadian employees,” U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. in Buffalo said in a statement.
The athletes that Galea treated with the drugs included three present and former National Football League players who weren’t named in the complaint.
Galea will be sentenced on Oct. 19, the judge’s clerk said. He faces as long as three years in prison and a fine of as much as $250,000, plus restitution of $275,000, prosecutors said in the statement.
Golf star Woods was interviewed by federal investigators about Galea, his agent said last year. Galea had treated him while he was recovering from knee surgery in 2008. Woods said at a news conference last year he didn’t receive any performance-enhancing drugs from Galea.
New York Yankees third baseman Rodriguez told investigators for Major League Baseball that he was seen by Galea while recovering from 2009 hip surgery, according to the New York 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 last year.
The case is U.S. v. Galea, 10-cr-00307, U.S. District Court, Western District of New York (Buffalo).