Galea indicted on five counts for drug smuggling
The five-count indictment alleges that Galea, 51, of Toronto, smuggled human growth hormone and other unapproved substances into the United States and conspired and lied to border agents to avoid getting caught.
Tiger Woods, who has said he's been treated by Galea but did not receive performance-enhancing drugs, was among athletes contacted by investigators, the golfer's agent, Mark Steinberg, said in June.
The charges against Galea, similar to those contained in a criminal complaint in May, set him on the path to trial.
The doctor, who is not authorized to work in the United States, is accused of treating 20 professional athletes at their homes, hotels and friends' houses from October 2007 to September 2009, including giving them free Viagra if they asked.
The indictment does not identify any athletes by name, but as the case moves toward trial, evidence and witness statements could be revealed in court, said U.S. Attorney William Hochul, whose office is prosecuting the case.
The New York Mets' Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran also have acknowledged talking to federal authorities about Galea, who has denied any wrongdoing. The New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez told Major League Baseball officials in April that he didn't receive performance-enhancing drugs from Galea after the doctor told The Associated Press he had prescribed anti-inflammatories for him.
According to the indictment, the former doctor for the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts made more than 100 trips to treat athletes in Cleveland, New York, Miami, Tampa, Fla., Orlando, Fla., Boston, Atlanta, San Diego, San Francisco, Denver, Phoenix, Hawaii and Washington, D.C., and billed them a total of more than $500,000.
The government alleges athletes would receive injections of HGH, banned by major sports, and Actovegin, a derivative of calf's blood not approved for use in the United States, as well as intravenous Actovegin drips and platelet-rich plasma therapy, a treatment used to speed healing that involves extracting blood from patients and re-injecting just the plasma.
'There is a reason why the public expects the [Food and Drug Administration] to determine which substances can be safely used in this country,' Hochul said. 'Misuse of certain substances can obviously be harmful, regardless of whether or not they are being administered by a medical professional.'
Galea would tell an assistant who sometimes traveled with him to transfer drugs used to treat impotency into 'non-descript pill bottles' to avoid detection at the border and would give them without a prescription to patients, according to the indictment. He also would have the assistant drop off extra drugs and supplies at a relative's house in New York City so he'd have them on hand, the indictment said.
The assistant, Mary Anne Catalano, pleaded guilty in June to a single count of lying to border agents as part of a deal that required her to cooperate in the investigation of Galea. It was her arrest last September while bringing medical equipment and drugs across the Peace Bridge into Buffalo that began the investigation of the doctor.
A phone message for Galea's Toronto attorney, Brian Greenspan, was not immediately returned Thursday. A person who answered the phone at the office of Galea's Buffalo attorney, Mark Mahoney, said Mahoney was out of town and unavailable for comment.
Although Hochul said in May that Galea treated athletes from Major League Baseball, the National Football League and Professional Golfers' Association, the indictment does not specify the patient-athletes' sports and Hochul declined to identify them.
The most serious charge in the indictment, smuggling, can carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years while three charges, conspiracy, lying to federal agents and unlawful possession with intent to distribute human growth hormone, are punishable by up to five years. The fifth charge, introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce, carries a potential three-year term.
A date for Galea's arraignment was not immediately scheduled.
Catalano, meanwhile, had been scheduled to be sentenced this week, but the government sought a delay until January so she could complete her obligation as a cooperating witness, Hochul said.
Suspended Hensby offers details on missed drug test
One day after receiving a one-year suspension from the PGA Tour for failing to provide a sample for a drug test, Mark Hensby offered details on the events that led to his missed test in October.
Hensby, 46, released a statement explaining that the test in question came after the opening round of the Sanderson Farms Championship, where the Aussie opened with a 78. Frustrated about his play, Hensby said he was prepared to give a blood sample but was then informed that the test would be urine, not blood.
"I had just urinated on the eighth hole, my 17th hole that day, and knew that I was probably unable to complete the urine test for at least a couple more hours," Hensby said. "I told this gentleman that I would complete the test in the morning prior to my early morning tee time. Another gentleman nearby told me that 'they have no authority to require me to stay.' Thus, I left."
Hensby explained that he subsequently received multiple calls and texts from PGA Tour officials inquiring as to why he left without providing a sample and requesting that he return to the course.
"I showed poor judgment in not responding," said Hensby, who was subsequently disqualified from the tournament.
Hensby won the 2004 John Deere Classic, but he has missed six cuts in seven PGA Tour starts over the last two years. He will not be eligible to return to the Tour until Oct. 26, 2018.
"Again, I made a terrible decision to not stay around that evening to take the urine test," Hensby said. "Obviously in hindsight I should have been more patient, more rational and taken the test. Call me stupid, but don't call me a cheater. I love the game. I love the integrity that it represents, and I would never compromise the values and qualities that the game deserves."
Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage
Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.
Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.
Swipe to see what’s up in my world. It’s long-winded.... short version, we lost the baby. Had to share this since we had shared the news already. I know you’re all so supportive and kind. I just couldn’t face it before. Now let’s get back to our regularly scheduled programming. #ihavealotoffeelings #andphotostocatchupon
“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”
The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.
“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia
This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.
The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.
Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.
The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.
A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.
And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.
Green jacket tour
Man of the people
Ace at 17th at Sawgrass
Departure from TaylorMade
Squashed beef with Paddy
Victory at Valderrama
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates:
No. 4: Dec. 13
No. 3: Dec. 14
No. 2: Dec. 15
No. 1: Dec. 18