Mary Anne Catalano sentencing delayed

Updated: April 19, 2011, 5:48 PM ET
Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The U.S. government has put off sentencing a Canadian sports doctor's assistant because she's not done helping prosecutors with the criminal case against her boss.

Mary Anne Catalano, who admitted to bringing medical equipment and pharmaceuticals into the United States, had been scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty last summer to lying to border agents. But prosecutors earlier asked a federal judge in Buffalo to postpone it until June 20.

"In her plea agreement, the defendant agreed to cooperate with the government in its investigation of Dr. Anthony Galea," Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Campana wrote in seeking the delay. "Because the defendant's cooperation may involve testimony at any trial proceedings that may be held, it is respectfully noted that her cooperation is not yet complete."

Galea, a healing specialist sought out by the biggest names in sports including Tiger Woods and Alex Rodriguez, is accused on both sides of the border of dealing in unapproved drugs. He has yet to appear in court to enter a plea after being indicted by a federal grand jury in Buffalo last October.

"The indictment has been returned, the charges are pending, they're not going to go away," U.S. Attorney William Hochul said Tuesday when asked the status of the U.S. case. He declined to comment on a New York Times report Tuesday in which Galea's Buffalo attorney, Mark Mahoney, said he's in discussions with federal prosecutors.

Mahoney would not say whether a plea deal was being discussed, or otherwise elaborate. He did not respond to telephone and emailed requests for comment by The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The indictment alleges that Galea smuggled human growth hormone and other unapproved substances into the United States and conspired and lied to border agents to avoid getting caught. The doctor, who is not authorized to work in the U.S., is accused of treating 20 professional athletes at their homes, hotels and friends' houses from October 2007 to September 2009. The indictment did not identify any athletes by name.

Galea has said he treated Rodriguez with anti-inflammatories after the Yankees' slugger's hip surgery but that he's never given human growth hormone, which is banned by professional sports, to an athlete.

Woods has said he's been treated by Galea, who was known for using a blood-spinning technique designed to speed recovery from injuries, but that he did not receive performance-enhancing drugs.

Galea's Canadian attorney, meanwhile, said the case in that country, which was filed before the U.S. charges, also remains pending.

"I'm not saying there's a lull in the proceeding; I'm saying it's just proceeding in its normal course," Brian Greenspan said Tuesday.

"It's premature to have any discussion with the media, regardless of whether it's the Canadian or American press and whether it's with respect to the American or Canadian charges," he said.

As part of Catalano's plea agreement, the government agreed to recommend a sentence of zero to six months in prison. It was her September 2009 arrest while bringing medical supplies across the Peace Bridge into Buffalo that began the investigation.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press