Professional athletes get paid big bucks for being so adept at their respective sports and entertaining the masses across the world. They do, however, pay big prices for their abilities to wow audiences with their athleticism. No athlete is a stranger to injuries. And when they get hurt, they sensibly seek the best possible medical treatment in efforts to recover and get back to playing their sports quickly.
Tiger Woods is one such athlete. World renowned for his prowess as a professional golfer, Woods has also endured his fair share of injuries. During his recovery periods, the champion golfer has sought the assistance of Toronto, Ontario-based doctor, Anthony Galea. The Canadian sports doctor is currently in the news, however, for a story that is far from the grace and prestige associated with Woods’ successful rehabilitation stints.
As reported by Colin Perkel of The Canadian Press via CTV News last month, Dr. Galea has been found guilty of professional misconduct. The decision made by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario stems from an earlier conviction in the United States for importing unapproved and mislabelled drugs. Galea, who didn’t comment upon the decision in the article, had his actions described by the college as disgraceful, dishonourable (and) unprofessional.
According to Perkel, Galea treated a number of high-profile athletes in the United States between 2007 and 2009. Among them were pro football, basketball and baseball players. However, he was operating without a licence to practice south of the border. He and his assistant, Mary Anne Catalano would regularly cross the border into the United States without declaring the true reasons for their visits.
Galea would earn upwards of $800,000 to treat athletes at their homes. Meanwhile, he would only declare that he was attending medical conferences while spending time in the United States. “The situation unravelled in September 2009, when Galea’s employee was arrested by American authorities in Buffalo, N.Y., after she was found with various drugs and medical supplies,” reports Perkel, “She later pleaded guilty to making a false statement and was handed a one-year probation.”
In addition to practicing without a licence in the United States, Galea also pleaded guilty to importing drugs. It was not reported the type of drugs smuggled across the border, but the doctor has been known to offer athletes human growth hormone – something that is banned by all major sports. Perkel notes that Galea’s lawyer, Brian Greenspan vehemently denies such allegations, although the doctor pleaded guilty to such a charge in 2011.
Galea attributes his ability to heal injured athletes to a unique “blood-spinning injury treatment”. It is a “platelet-rich plasma therapy, a treatment used to speed healing that involves extracting blood from patients and reinjecting just the plasma,” describes Perkel. As of this writing, Galea’s penalty has not yet been handed down. However, it is clear that the former doctor for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League will be heavily reprimanded.
At Allegiant Experts, we believe that all medical misconduct needs to be punished. As a result, our team of clinical experts is adamant about helping attorneys involved in litigations that address medical misconduct of any kind. To learn more about our clinical expert services or our experience with hospital and medical malpractice cases, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 407-217-5831.