Wood’s treatment was standard, says agent
Woods has endured a trying time of late, admitting to infidelity and taking an indefinite break from golf. Amid the fallout of his “transgressions,” the latest reports have come at an unwelcome time for the embattled 14-time major winner.
Galea, an Ontario-based sports doctor who has worked with athletes in Olympic sports, the NHL, NFL and MLB, earlier this year treated Woods in his recovery from a knee injury but is now the subject of a joint Canada and United States (U.S.) investigation and will appear in a Toronto court today.
The New York Times reported that Woods’ International Management Group was unhappy with the slow pace of recovery – a claim strenuously denied – as he underwent platelet-rich plasma therapy to accelerate the process. A statement from agent Mark Steinberg read: “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 (New York) Times falsely reported.
“The treatment Tiger received is a widely accepted therapy and to suggest some connection with illegality is recklessly irresponsible.”
Galea will appear in court today on four charges: selling an unapproved drug (Actovegin), conspiracy to import an unapproved drug, conspiracy to export a drug, and smuggling goods into Canada. He was first investigated by the Royal Canadian Mountain Police in September after one of his associates was apprehended with the unapproved drug, Actovegin, an extract of calf blood, which activates metabolism (growth) in body tissue.
Galea’s Institute of Sports Medicine Health and Wellness Center in Toronto was searched on October 15, resulting in unapproved drugs being seized and the doctor’s arrest. A statement issued by the RCMP read: “The RCMP is alleging that it was Galea’s intent to treat some of his patients outside Canada with Actovegin.
“Actovegin has not been approved for use in Canada, although it is available and approved in some European countries. The RCMP investigators are alleging that Dr. Galea illegally imported and smuggled drugs into Canada.
“They are further alleging that these drugs, which are not approved by Health Canada to be used in Canada, were administered to patients. Dr. Galea is also alleged to have conspired to export these drugs to the U.S.”