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Tiger Woods doctor investigated after illegal drugs found in medical bag

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

Tiger Woods’ doctor is under investigation after his assistant was found carrying performance enhancing drugs, one of which is banned in the United States. Dr. Anthony Galea was found at the Canadian border with HGH (Human Growth Hormone), and Actovegin raising eyebrows even further about the extent of performance enhancing drugs among athletes.

HGH stimulators are sold in the United States in pill form, but the only true form is injectable. Use of HGH can create side effects in healthy adults that include muscle pain, breast tissue enlargement, joint pain, and arm and leg swelling. HGH injections can cost thousands of dollars. Human Growth Hormone is not an approved medical treatment in the US for treating injuries.

Actovegin, a performance enhancer, also found on Dr. Galea, is banned in the United States for use, sale, or importation. Galea was found carrying the drugs in September, and he was arrested in October. The performance enhancing effect of Actovegin comes from its ability to boost cellular metabolism and increase oxygen uptake.The result can make an athlete much less likely to develop fatigue. Actovegin is made from calf's blood.

Dr. Galea has treated hundreds of athletes, and is now suspected of selling, smuggling, and advertising illegal performance enhancers.

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In clinical practice, Dr. Galea uses a healing technique known as platelet rich plasma therapy. Gallatin treated Woods four times at his Orlando home following his knee surgery. It is important to note that Tiger Woods is in no way implicated in wrongdoing. However his physician, Dr. Galea who is a Canadian resident is scheduled to appear in court in Canada on Friday.

According to his attorney, “Dr. Galea was never engaged in any wrongdoing or any impropriety. Not only does he have a reputation that is impeccable, he is a person at the very top of his profession.”

Galea admitted that he has prescribed HGH to some of his own patients. He also says he has used human growth hormone for 10 years. He claims he has never treated professional athletes with the hormone. Regarding the Actovegin, it would have been illegal to bring it into the United States, or use it for treatment.

Dr. Galea says he has used the bovine derivative to treat Canadian athletes, including players on the Toronto Argonauts football team whom he has tended since 2004. Actovegin is not sold legally in Canada, and is manufactured in Austria.

In September Galea's assistant was stopped at the Canadian border while headed to the United States. HGH was found in Dr. Galea's medical bag along with four other drugs.Tiger Woods' doctor says HGH was for his own use. Since then his assistant is cooperating with the investigation, and has quit working for Galea. Officials also seized Galea's laptop computer and sonogram machine and are investigating the physician for selling, smuggling and promoting performance enhancing drugs that are illegal.