Anthony Galea, a Canadian doctor who was accused of smuggling illegal drugs into the U.S. in order to give them to pro athletes, has pleaded guilty to a felony charge.Galea admitted that he crossed over the border (as many as 73 times) to provide illegal medical treatments, using human growth hormone and other drugs that are not approved for use in the United States.
Although no pro athletes were named in the plea agreement, Galea has admitted in the past to treating some of sport’s biggest superstars, including Tiger Woods, Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, and Jamal Lewis. He still insists that he never gave any of them HGH.
Woods has admitted that Galea came to his home to give him a rare treatment called platelet replacement therapy.
Because of the plea deal, there will be no trial. That means no discovery, no depositions, and no witness testimony that could have been very embarrassing (and possibly legally damaging) to those superstars, and others.
However, Galea will not be sentenced until October and has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors until that time. The more he cooperates, the shorter his sentence will be. He face up to 2 years, and already agreed to give up $275,000.
So should those famous athletes be worried? Probably. Prosecutors say they had a “certain conviction” in the works, suggesting that there is plenty more evidence that they have in their arsenal. Given the court cases involving Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, the government would love nothing more than to nail a big-time athlete on a serious steroid charge. Major League Baseball, according to the New York Times, is already chomping at the bit to see what Galea gives to the prosecutors.
And this plea deal does not suggest that Galea is a man who will go down with the ship. He has previously admitted to using HGH on himself and it seems highly unlikely that he would risk bringing such drugs into the U.S. if he wasn’t going to give them to a patient. His career is already ruined and he plenty to gain by opening up his files.
You would have to believe that the doctor has the goods on somebody and there’s no reason for him to keep quiet now. There must be quite a few athletes (and lawyers) who are going to be very nervous for the next few months.
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