Canadian doctor Anthony Galea, charged Tuesday in U.S. Federal Court with smuggling and drug-related offenses, made three trips to Cleveland last year, according to an investigative report on ESPN.com.
A story by ESPN's Mike Fish said Galea's former executive assistant Mary Anne Catalano told authorities that the doctor made three trips to Cleveland between Aug. 27 and Sept. 11 to treat 11 professional athletes. She said two received HGH therapy, while most of the others received an IV drip of vitamins and Actovegin, a drug extracted from calf's blood that is illegal in the United States.
Galea's most frequent destination among eight major U.S. cities was Cleveland, where he cared for 11 of 23 athletes named by Catalano, ESPN.com said.
No athletes were named in documents filed in federal court in Buffalo that charged Galea with smuggling, lying to federal officials, unlawful distribution of HGH, introducing Actovegin into interstate commerce and conspiracy to defraud the United States, ESPN said. But three unidentified NFL players were listed in the documents, the story said.
A patient in Cleveland, identified as "Athlete L," had four HGH treatments between Aug. 13 and Sept. 11, which also included at least one injection in his knee, ESPN said.
Galea has treated golfer Tiger Woods, but Woods said earlier this year that was for platelet therapy after his knee surgery following the 2008 U.S. Open.
The story describes Galea as the ''go-to doctor for injured elite athletes.'' His activities in a U.S.-Canadian smuggling operation were exposed after Catalano was stopped at a Buffalo border crossing Sept. 14 with a bag containing medical supplies and growth hormone. Catalano told authorities she and Galea met athletes in ''hotel rooms and their homes,'' with the athletes also paying their travel expenses, ESPN said.
Among the other cities named in ESPN's report are New York (three athletes), Boston, Tampa, Fla., and Washington (two each), Orlando, Fla., San Diego and San Francisco.
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