Tour Nothing suggests Woods violated policy


According to a New York Times report Dr. Anthony Galea travelled to Orlando, Fla., earlier this year to help Tiger Woods recover from knee surgery using a procedure called platelet-rich plasma therapy, or blood spinning.

The story which was posted on the Times’ Web site Monday night said the Canadian doctor travelled to central Florida at the request of Woods’ agents, “who were alarmed at the slow pace of Mr. Woods’s rehabilitation after knee surgery in June 2008.”

“The New York Times is flat wrong, no one at IMG has ever met or recommended Dr. Galea, nor were we worried about the progress of Tiger's recovery, as the Times falsely reported,” Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg said in a statement released to ABC News. “The treatment Tiger received is a widely accepted therapy and to suggest some connection with illegality is recklessly irresponsible. Apparently the Times, like so many other news outlets on the Tiger Woods story, has abandoned principle.”

Galea was arrested on Oct. 15 after authorities found human growth hormone and Actovegin, a drug extracted from calf’s blood, in his bag at the U.S.-Canada border in late September.

Galea told the Times “it would be impossible” for investigators to have found material linking his athletes to performance-enhancing drugs and the PGA Tour has no plans to pursue the issue.

“We have seen nothing in the published reports with respect to Tiger Woods or Dr. Galea that would suggest there has been a violation of our anti-doping policy,” said Ty Votaw, the PGA Tour's vice president of communication and international affairs.

Blood spinning is not on the Tour’s 2009 banned substances list, although the World Anti-Doping Agency, which sets the standard for testing in sports, has added the procedure to its 2010 list but only when it is “administered by intramuscular route,” which would not be the method used to help Woods’ recovery.

Votaw said the Tour will add blood spinning via an intramuscular route to its banned substance list in 2010, but would not require its players to submit a “declaration of use,” which will be mandatory under the WADA policy.

Although Woods, like every other Tour member, was tested for performance-enhancing drugs in 2009, there is currently no way to test for HGH using urine samples and the Tour does not have blood testing.