A Toronto doctor with ties to Tiger Woods has been charged with selling an unapproved drug which can be considered performance-enhancing.
Anthony Galea, 51, was charged Wednesday with selling Actovegin, a drug extracted from calf’s blood, which is illegal for sale in Canada and is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency if used intravenously.
The RCMP allege Galea intended to treat some of his patients outside Canada with Actovegin, which has not been approved for use in Canada, although it is available and approved in some European countries. Investigators also allege Galea illegally imported and smuggled drugs into Canada. They said these drugs, which are not approved by Health Canada, were administered to patients.
Galea is also alleged to have conspired to export drugs to the U.S.
In addition, the RCMP said they seized human growth hormones from Galea, which can be legal in some instances in Canada. However, it is banned in sports.
While Actovegin is meant to promote healing, it is also believed to improve stamina and first came to the attention of the anti-doping authorities several years ago when some elite cyclists were found to be using it, according to a report in the New York Times.
A spokesman for the World Anti-Doping Agency said they have tested Actovegin and it does not contain growth hormone or prohibited hormones. However, the agency “closely monitors Actovegin since we are aware of its use in some sports, possibly in conjunction with other substances that may be prohibited,” said WADA spokesman Frederic Donze.
Police allege Galea was getting his supply of Actovegin from Germany and other European nations.