Skip to main content

Pro athletes' doctor gets supervised release for administering prohibited drugs

By the CNN Wire Staff
December 17, 2011 -- Updated 0239 GMT (1039 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Dr. Anthony Galea pleaded guilty to introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce
  • He could have gotten 3 years, but gets 1 year of supervised released as part of a plea deal
  • Galea administered HGH and Actovegin, a calf's blood derivative, authorities say
  • His patients included Tiger Woods, Takeo Spikes and Jamal Lewis

(CNN) -- Anthony Galea -- a doctor who treated professional athletes from the NBA, Major League Baseball and beyond -- was sentenced Friday to a year of supervised release for mislabeling drugs and administering them, a U.S. attorney's office said.

Galea also paid $275,000 as part of a plea agreement, according to the press release from the office of U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr., whose jurisdiction is the western district of New York.

He could have faced a maximum of three years in prison, a fine of $250,000 and forfeiture of $275,000, the FBI had said.

The drugs in question in Galea's case included human growth hormone (known as HGH) and Actovegin, a derivative of calf's blood, the statement said.

HGH is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for sports injuries and is banned by most professional sports leagues. Actovegin, meanwhile, is not approved for any use in humans.

"Today's sentencing underscores ICE Homeland Security Investigations' commitment to protect the health and safety of the American public," said James C. Spero, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement' investigative office in Buffalo. "(This agency) and our law enforcement partners in the U.S. and Canada are determined to stop the flow of prohibited drugs into the United States."

The trial drew media attention during early court proceedings when the prosecutor said that multiple professional athletes had been treated by Galea, including golfer Tiger Woods, and two NFL players -- Takeo Spikes of the San Diego Chargers and Jamal Lewis, formerly of the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens.

The 52-year-old Galea is a resident of Toronto, located in the Canadian province of Ontario.

He had pleaded guilty in July to the felony charge of introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, the FBI said then in a statement. One of his employees, Mary Anne Catalano, previously had pleaded guilty to making false statements at the border.

Prior to sentencing, Galea admitted he'd traveled to the United States "numerous times" from 2007 through September 2009 to treat athletes, even though he did not have a license to practice medicine in the country. The doctor said that he went to 13 locations -- including Boston, Miami, New York and Washington -- to offer four types of treatment, including administering Actovegin and a mixture containing HGH.

CNN's Logan Burruss, Susan Candiotti and Chris Boyette contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT