Galea resigns as Argos' doctor
TORONTO -- A doctor accused of selling an unapproved drug has resigned as team doctor of the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts.
Dr. Anthony Galea resigned in early February after working for the team since 2003, Argos spokeswoman Beth Waldman said Thursday. She said she doesn't know the reason for the Canadian doctor's resignation.
"Dr. Galea resigned as our team doctor so we're no longer associated with him," Waldman said.
Galea is facing four charges in Canada related to the drug known as Actovegin. The drug is extracted from calf's blood and used for healing. Galea's assistant also has been charged in the U.S. for having HGH and another drug while crossing the border in September.
Yankees star Alex Rodriguez and other high profile baseball players have been contacted by U.S. federal investigators regarding Galea. Rodriguez said Monday he was "aware" of the investigation and plans to cooperate with the government. He declined comment when asked if he has been treated by Galea.
Galea is known for using a blood-spinning technique -- platelet-rich plasma therapy -- designed to speed recovery from injuries. Among the athletes he has treated are golfer Tiger Woods, swimmer Dara Torres and several NFL players.
Galea was arrested Oct. 15 after a search warrant was executed at the Institute of Sports Medicine Health and Wellness Centre in Toronto. He is charged with selling Actovegin, conspiracy to import an unapproved drug, conspiracy to export a drug and smuggling goods into Canada.
His lawyer, Brian H. Greenspan, has said his client denies any wrongdoing. Greenspan also has said Galea has used HGH himself and prescribed it to non-athlete patients over the age of 40 to improve their quality of life, but said he has never given it to athletes.
The investigation into Galea began when his assistant, who often drove for the doctor, was stopped attempting to enter the United States from Canada.
Vials and ampules containing human growth hormone and Actovegin were found in a car driven by Mary Anne Catalano, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and U.S. federal court documents.
A person familiar with the Galea investigation told the AP it was being led by Department of Homeland Security, FBI and Food and Drug Administration agents out of Buffalo, N.Y., where Catalano was arrested Sept. 14, and that a grand jury could begin hearing testimony there within weeks.
The person, who was not authorized to release the information, spoke on condition of anonymity.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press