Attorney: Tiger Woods didn't use PEDs

Updated: July 12, 2011, 6:06 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The lawyer for the former assistant to the Canadian doctor who treated Tiger Woods said the golfer never received performance-enhancing drugs as a patient.

"The suggestion and rumor was unfair," Rod Personius, an attorney for Mary Anne Catalano, Dr. Anthony Galea's former assistant told ESPN.com's Mike Fish. "Galea's attorneys have said all along that there was no involvement (with PEDs), but no one paid attention. The government really isn't in position to comment. Maybe coming from a neutral party it'll mean something."

The story was first reported by the New York Daily News.

Galea, who is not licensed to practice medicine in the United States, pleaded guilty last week in U.S. District Court in Buffalo to bringing unapproved drugs, including human growth hormone, into the United States. He faces similar charges in Canada.

Most of the U.S. charges were dismissed as part of Galea's plea, and he agreed to cooperate with investigators and disclose the identities of his patients and their treatments.

Catalano, who pleaded guilty last year to making false statements to border patrol agents, has cooperated with American and Canadian law enforcement authorities. She is scheduled to be sentenced later this month.

Woods, who is skipping the British Open because of "minor injuries" that haven't fully healed, has said he's been treated by Galea but didn't receive performance-enhancing drugs from the Toronto-based doctor. Woods has denied using PEDs during his career.

In June 2010, Woods met with authorities who were investigating Galea. Woods said he cooperated with them and answered all of their questions.

Galea, 51, pleaded guilty July 6 in front of U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara to introducing mislabeled drugs into the United States. Prosecutors said Galea was paid about $800,000 for his work in the United States, and the value of the drugs and other substances used was about $30,000 to $70,000.

Galea was released until his Oct. 19 sentencing, at which he could get up to two years in prison.

According to documents obtained by ESPN, Catalano told authorities that while traveling with him in the United States, she witnessed Galea inject a cocktail mixture containing Nutropin (growth hormone) into the injured knee of "at least seven athletes."

Catalano told authorities she accompanied the doctor while he treated athletes in eight major U.S. cities in summer 2009. She said Galea typically performed two procedures on the athletes, both attempts to quicken healing. The first featured a cocktail mixture containing numerous medicines, including HGH, which would be injected into an athlete's injured knee.

The other procedure, which Woods had in 2009 after surgery on his left knee, was platelet-rich plasma therapy, whereby Galea would take blood from the athlete and separate the platelets from the red blood cells with a centrifuge. The platelets then would be injected into the injured area of the athlete.

The indictment against Galea did not identify any clients, but prosecutors said they included golfers, professional baseball and football players and others. The New York Mets' Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran also have acknowledged talking to federal authorities during the investigation.

New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez told Major League Baseball officials that he didn't receive performance-enhancing drugs from Galea, after the doctor told The Associated Press he had prescribed anti-inflammatories for him.

Galea became the focus of Canadian and U.S. authorities' attention in September 2009, when Catalano was stopped at the Peace Bridge border crossing in Buffalo with a small quantity of human growth hormone, Actovegin -- a derivative of calf's blood not approved for use in the U.S. -- and vials of foreign homeopathic drugs.

Information from ESPN investigative reporter Mike Fish and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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