Investigators for Major League Baseball have struck out again in seeking cooperation from a Toronto-based sports doctor, as well as his former assistant, who previously injected pro athletes with human growth hormone and other banned substances, "Outside the Lines" has learned.
Attorneys representing Dr. Anthony Galea and Mary Anne Catalano said they each had been contacted by MLB within the past month. The renewed interest in the potential key sources came in the wake of reports that baseball authorities were investigating a South Florida anti-aging clinic operated by Anthony Bosch, a self-described biochemist.
A common thread is New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who was treated by Galea prior to the doctor's 2009 arrest and more recently by Bosch, according to a source familiar with MLB's investigation. Documents also indicate both have treated athletes with Actovegin, a drug extracted from calf's blood that is not approved for use in either the United States or Canada. In the case of Bosch, the drug is referenced in his clinic notes with A-Rod, San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal and minor league pitcher Cesar Carrillo, a former University of Miami star and onetime top draft pick of the Padres.
Attorneys for Galea and Catalano, however, denied knowledge of their clients having any connection with Bosch or his latest clinic affiliation, Biogenesis of America.
"The name has never arisen in the course of any question that has come up in my dealings with Tony over the last four years," said Brian Greenspan, who is Galea's Canadian attorney.
Added Rod Personius, Catalano's representative: "I have heard nothing that would connect the two. Nothing at all."
Galea pleaded guilty last year to a reduced charge of bringing unapproved drugs, including HGH and Actovegin, into the United States. The investigation began in September 2009 when Catalano was flagged by agents at the Buffalo border crossing and found with a bagful of medical supplies belonging to Galea.
According to documents obtained at the time by "Outside the Lines," Catalano identified 23 athletes, during interviews with U.S. and Canadian authorities, whom she said Galea treated in the U.S. during a two-month period in the summer of 2009. Among the A-list patients Galea crossed the border to treat included Rodriguez, baseball players Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, and golf star Tiger Woods.
MLB officials made separate trips to Buffalo for the sentencing of Galea and Catalano, though the two have rejected several overtures to meet with investigators. "We're not interested in becoming engaged in a discussion about patients or patient histories or issues," Greenspan told "Outside the Lines."
Because Galea and Catalano reached plea deals with the government, MLB officials missed out on hearing potentially revealing under-oath information as well as details from witness statements and grand jury testimony, which remain under seal. A key piece of evidence also would have been the laptop computer border agents seized from Catalano, which belonged to Galea and contained files on his athlete patients.
"We are pursuing all avenues, including cooperation with law enforcement," said Rob Manfred, Major League Baseball's executive vice president of labor relations.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's office in Buffalo noted Monday that grand jury information is prohibited from being disclosed to people outside of law enforcement other than rare instances in which parties apply and successfully receive a court order allowing access. No court records have been filed in the case since Galea was sentenced last year.
"Outside The Lines" investigative reporter T.J. Quinn contributed to this report.