More bad news for Tiger? Potentially, but probably not. The respected crackpot doctor, Anthony Galea, was charged in a complaint filed by the US District Court in Erie, NY, on Tuesday. (Below is the full affidavit via Ryan Ballengee of Trailing Tiger.) According to the document, Dr. Galea is up against a bunch of charges, including smuggling, lying to federal officials, introducing the unapproved drug Actovegin into the US, treating patients with human growth hormone and conspiracy to defraud the US. Yep, that’s all.
There are four anonymous witnesses cited, three of which are current or former NFL players, and the fourth is a “cooperating witness,” presumably Mary Anne Catalano, Galea’s former executive assistant.
The affidavit also revealed that sometimes the treatments to athletes weren’t limited to PRP injections. In addition, Dr. Galea would inject “drug mixtures of ‘cocktails’ into athletes knees; IV drips; and ultrasounds and injections of drug mixtures into the site of muscle tears.” The “cooperating witness” added that the blood-spinning therapy “was designed to speed the healing process” and “Dr. Galea would at times inject a cocktail containing HGH into an athlete,” which was intended to “help regenerate cartilage growth.” Sketchy.
But in last week’s interview with the Golf Channel, former swing coach Hank Haney said he was present for four out of five of Dr. Galea’s home visits and never saw anything injected into Tiger that didn’t come out of his body.
Mike Fish of ESPN.com reports that Catalano “identified 23 athletes during interviews with U.S. and Canadian authorities whom she said Galea treated in the U.S. between last July 22 and when she was stopped at the border Sept. 14.”
In the chart provided by ESPN, it appears Tiger is probably in the clear. Assuming he’s “Athlete D” in Orlando, he received Plasma Rich Platelet, the legal procedure Tiger described in his press conference at The Masters last month, which was administered by Dr. Galea. But here’s the catch: Dr. Galea isn’t licensed to practice medicine in the US. And if Tiger wasn’t aware of that, then I’m the Queen of England.
And more from the ESPN.com report:
Catalano said she frequently accompanied Galea and met with athletes in “hotel rooms and their homes” to provide various medical treatments. Along with paying for the treatment, Catalano said the athletes also paid all travel expenses for herself and the doctor.
Catalano told authorities she had made 23 border crossings within the previous six months and, according to documents, on each occasion transported “the same medical supplies” that were in her possession when she was stopped in September.
In last August alone, she told authorities that Galea made 13 stops in the U.S. to treat athletes. In three separate trips to Cleveland between Aug. 27 and Sept. 11, she identified 11 pro athletes he treated. Only two were identified with HGH therapy, while most of the others were said to have received a recovery IV drip containing various vitamins and Actovegin.
The presumably most lucrative patient for Galea, identified in documents as “Athlete B,” was paid a visit by the doctor in New York on July 22, July 30, Aug. 6, Sept. 1 and Sept. 10. He is alleged to have received an HGH cocktail on the last three visits, including one specifically described as an injection in his knee.
Sounds like Tiger is safe, but it’s still not good to be associated with Galea, especially since he treated him just last year, where he came back from a major knee surgery and won six times. But I actually believe him when he’s denied using any type of PEDs. For now. As for Alex Rodriguez, who is already known as a PED user, he might be in more trouble. Just speculating.