Several professional athletes have been tied to a performance-enhancing drug smuggling investigation that originated in Western New York, according to multiple sources.
Multiple sources with knowledge of the investigation tell 2 On Your Side around a dozen NFL and MLB players have been interviewed by Federal authorities investigating HGH smuggling from Canada into the U.S.
Our sources were not certain if any of the NFL players currently play, or have ever played, for the Buffalo Bills. The players are witnesses in the case, not suspects, according to our sources.
The local probe stems from a September 2009 border-crossing incident at the Peace Bridge in Buffalo, where customs agents stopped and arrested Mary Anne Catalano. Catalano had been working for Toronto-based physician Dr. Anthony Galea, who reportedly has treated famous athletes including golfer Tiger Woods and Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.
In court records, prosecutors said Catalano admitted to bringing Human Growth Hormone and other performance-enhancing substances into the United States on behalf of Dr. Galea. Authorities charged Catalano with smuggling. Her court case is pending.
Canadian authorities later searched Dr. Galea’s office and charged him with smuggling.
According to multiple sources, Catalano’s arrest also sparked an investigation in the United States. As part of that investigation, sources say federal investigators have interviewed approximately eight or nine current National Football League Players, as well as three or four current Major League Baseball Players. Our sources said the players are witnesses in the probe, not suspects. Each has some sort of connection to Dr. Galea. Our sources also said the case appears to be headed to a federal grand jury, or may have been heard by a grand jury already.
If the case goes to trial, it’s possible public court records will reveal the names of those professionals athletes.
Federal Prosecutor Paul Campana, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Buffalo, said he could not discuss the case. U.S. Attorney William Hochul also has said he would not comment on the investigation. The Major League Baseball Players Association said it was aware of the investigation, but declined to comment. We’re awaiting a response from the NFL Players association.