With the New York Times story about the criminal investigation surrounding Dr. Anthony Galea, the doctor that treated Tiger Woods’ post-knee surgery, for providing patients — possibly including elite athletes — with performance-enhancing drugs, questions are being raised about the possibility of Tiger’s using such substances. Agent Mark Steinberg, whose initial comment to the Times was odd, responded on Tuesday with a much more convincing statement:
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.
Given that initial reports of Dr. Galea’s arrest occurred two months ago, the timing of the Times article is rather interesting — and it could suggest the reporters were simply capitalizing on the recent Tiger-bashing. At the same time there’s been chatter about a link between Tiger and PEDs for a while now. But since The Chosen One has fallen from his pedestal, perhaps many feel like it’s the opportune time to underhandedly yet tactfully start digging for answers.
Also, the ESPN broadcast (above) features an interview with one of the reporters who discredits Steinberg’s claim that IMG didn’t refer Tiger to Dr. Galea. The reporter says the information came from Dr. Galea and is all on the record. Though platelet therapy isn’t illegal in the US, if IMG sent Tiger to the good doctor, knowing his sketchy reputation, why wouldn’t they refer him to the dozens of more well-respected doctors? Another poor move.
I’m sure we’ll be hearing more on this story in upcoming days.