Dr. Anthony Galea, who treated elite athletes, loses licence for 9 months

TORONTO — A renowned Canadian sports doctor convicted in the U.S. for importing unapproved drugs will lose his medical licence for nine months and face a formal reprimand for professional misconduct, Ontario’s medical regulator ruled Wednesday.

Dr. Anthony Galea, 57, whose client list included golfer Tiger Woods and other stars athletes, was also ordered to pay the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario $21,500 in legal costs.

“With respect to protection of the public, the quality of Dr. Galea’s clinical care was not in question or at issue,” the decision states. “The central issue is that Dr. Galea’s conduct displayed fundamental dishonesty, which is a serious concern.”

Galea, who ran the Institute of Sports Medicine Health and Wellness Centre in west-end Toronto, was found guilty of professional misconduct more than a year ago.

Despite being unlicensed to practise medicine in the U.S., the doctor treated numerous elite athletes there, including football, basketball and baseball players between 2007 and 2009.

Evidence was that the former team doctor for the Toronto Argonauts and his assistant, Mary Anne Catalano, agreed to lie to American border officials about the true purpose of entering the U.S. with the medical supplies — which was to treat patients. Galea earned about $800,000 from the treatments, which occurred at athletes’ homes or in hotel rooms.

“Dr. Galea disregarded basic regulations requiring licensure in the jurisdictions in which he was providing care and used improperly labelled or non-FDA approved medications,” the committee said in its sentencing decision.

The panel expressed particular disdain for how Galea involved his assistant, considering it an aggravating factor. Catalano also ended up with a felony conviction in the U.S.

“The committee was appalled by Dr. Galea’s abuse of the trusting relationship he had with his employee, Ms. Catalano,” the decision states. “When she was arrested, Dr. Galea demonstrated callous disregard for her situation in not acting to make any immediate plans for his employee to be returned to Canada.”

At the same time, the committee said it found Galea to be “genuinely remorseful” and that it was unlikely he would reoffend. It also noted that he admitted responsibility from the outset.

Galea was widely known for a blood-spinning injury treatment, although prosecutors said some patients received human growth hormone, which is banned by major sports. Athletes sought him out for platelet-rich plasma therapy, a treatment used to speed healing that involves extracting blood from patients and reinjecting just the plasma.

His deceit came to light in September 2009 when American authorities arrested Catalano in Buffalo after she was found with various drugs and medical supplies. She later pleaded guilty to making a false statement and was handed a one-year probation.

Galea also pleaded guilty to the importing offence in July 2011 in New York and apologized to the American government, his wife and his assistant. He was sentenced in December 2011 to one day time served and a year’s probation. Canadian prosecutors charged him with various drug and smuggling offences in Canada, but those were stayed in 2012.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cowboy Kicks, originally scheduled for May 5, will now take place Sept. 18. (Contributed photo)
Westerner Park’s Cowboy Kicks fundraiser moved to Sept. 18

A major fundraiser for Westerner Park and the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sport… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels forward Josh Tarzwell tries to tip a point shot past Lethbridge Hurricanes goalie Car Tetachuk in WHL action Friday night at the Centrium. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Red Deer Rebels struggles continue, drop seventh straight to Hurricanes

Hurricanes score three power-play goals in 6-3 win

Downtown Red Deer patio restaurants have been busy this summer. Contributed photo
City of Red Deer expediting patio application process for restaurants

The City of Red Deer is allowing businesses to install patios prior… Continue reading

RDC Queens forward Camryn Wallan was named the 2020-21 RDC Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Wallan, Podgorenko named 2020-21 RDC Outstanding Athletes of the Year

Even with the cancellation of the 2020-21 Alberta Colleges Athletic Association, RDC… Continue reading

A new Angus Reid poll says that close to two-thirds of Albertans think premier Jason Kenney is doing a bad job handling the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
75% of Albertans disapprove of Kenney’s pandemic leadership: poll

Nearly 75 per cent of Albertans believe Premier Jason Kenney is doing… Continue reading

Red Deer-South MLA Jason Stephan is among those who have signed an open letter criticizing the government’s return to stricter health measures. (Advocate file photo).
Updated: Kenney tells UCP caucus COVID-19 dissent OK, breaking health rules means expulsion

15 MLAs released letter on Wednesday critical of new health restrictions

jobs - T - 3-6-2020
Finding a job: 3 job search truisms you need to accept

A job search has many moving parts; your mindset is the most… Continue reading

Here masking tape was applied to both sides of a joint to be caulked. Peeling the tape off as soon as the caulking is smeared with a finger leaves behind a neat edge. (Photo by Robert Maxwell)
Houseworks: Unheated spaces can cause tools to rust

Q: How well do woodworking tools survive in an unheated Canadian workshop?… Continue reading

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is seen in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, Friday, Nov. 29, 2019. The University of Victoria and the head coach of its women's rowing team have denied allegations of demeaning and aggressive treatment outlined in a lawsuit filed last summer by a former student and team member. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Canada's Julia Grosso, right, and Wales' Natasha Harding battle for the ball during the women's international friendly soccer match at Leckwith Stadium, Wales, Friday, April 9, 2021. Canada blanked Wales 3-0 but lost captain Christine Sinclair to an injury in the fist half of a soccer friendly Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-PA, Nick Potts
Canada blanks Wales in soccer friendly but has injury scare with Christine Sinclair

Canada blanks Wales in soccer friendly but has injury scare with Christine Sinclair

Canada's DTH Van Der Merwe, left, is tackled by Hong Kong's Toby Fenn, during the 2019 Japan Rugby Union World Cup qualifying match between Canada and Hong Kong, in Marseille, southern France, Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Claude Paris
Canadian rugby star DTH van der Merwe enjoying life in Los Angeles

Canadian rugby star DTH van der Merwe enjoying life in Los Angeles

Team Canada skip Brendan Bottcher, right, makes a shot as second Brad Thiessen sweeps against Germany at the Men's World Curling Championships in Calgary, Alta., Friday, April 9, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canada’s Bottcher heads into men’s world curling playoffs on a winning note

Canada’s Bottcher heads into men’s world curling playoffs on a winning note

Justin Rose, of England, hits out of a bunker on the seventh hole during the second round of the Masters golf tournament on Friday, April 9, 2021, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Rose clings to 1-shot Masters lead as Spieth, Thomas lurk

Rose clings to 1-shot Masters lead as Spieth, Thomas lurk

People shop for essential items at Costco as pallets block off aisles and sections that have been deemed non-essential during the COVID-19 pandemic, in Mississauga, Ont., Thursday, April 8, 2021. Retailers in Ontario are adjusting to new lockdown restrictions with stores like grocers, discount and big box chains roping off non-essential items from underwear to calculators. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Ontario retailers adjust to new rules, non-essential goods off-limits to shoppers

Ontario retailers adjust to new rules, non-essential goods off-limits to shoppers

Most Read