PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Mets shortstop Jose
Reyes said Sunday he met with federal investigators last week regarding a
Canadian doctor accused of selling an unapproved drug.
Dr. Anthony Galea is facing four charges in his
country related to the drug known as Actovegin, which is extracted from
calf's blood and used for healing. His assistant also has been charged
in the U.S. for having HGH and another drug while crossing the border in
Galea is known for using a blood-spinning
technique — platelet-rich plasma therapy — designed to speed recovery
from injuries. Besides Reyes, he also has treated Tiger Woods and
several other professional athletes.
"They just asked me basically how I met the guy
and stuff like that and what he put in my body," Reyes said. "I
explained to them what he (was) doing. … I don't worry about anything.
I didn't do anything wrong."
SI.com reported Saturday night that federal
officials have told several athletes to expect grand jury subpoenas in
the case. The Web site cited three anonymous sources familiar with the
The New York Times reported in December, citing
anonymous sources, that the FBI opened an investigation into Galea
based in part on medical records found on his computer relating to
several professional athletes.
Reyes said he met with investigators from the
FBI for about 45 minutes at the Mets' spring facility after they
contacted him Thursday morning. One of his agents, Chris Leible, also
The Daily News of New York was the first to
report the meeting.
Reyes, who missed much of last season with
right leg problems, said he spent five days in Toronto in September and
was treated by Galea three times during the stay. The shortstop was
asked by investigators if he used HGH.
"They asked me if he injected me with that. I
say 'No,'" Reyes said. "What we do there, basically, he took my blood
out, put it in some machines, spin it out and put it back in my leg. So I
explained to them that."
Mets spokesman Jay Horwitz said the team was
aware of the situation, and manager Jerry Manuel said he isn't worried
about it becoming a distraction.
Reyes said he felt better for a while after
the treatment but his leg still didn't respond when he tried to run full
speed. He had surgery in October to clean up some scar tissue remaining
from a torn hamstring tendon behind his right knee.
Galea was arrested Oct. 15 after a search
warrant was executed at the Institute of Sports Medicine Health and
Wellness Centre near Toronto. He is charged with selling Actovegin,
conspiracy to import an unapproved drug, conspiracy to export a drug and
smuggling goods into Canada.
Galea's lawyer, Brian H. Greenspan, has said
his client denies any wrongdoing. Greenspan also has said Galea has used
HGH himself and prescribed it to non-athlete patients over the age of
40 to improve their quality of life, but said he has never given it to
The Times also reported in December that Galea
visited Woods' home in Florida at least four times in February and
March to provide the platelet therapy. Woods was recovering from June
2008 knee surgery.
During his public apology for cheating on his
wife, Woods said any allegations that he used performance-enhancing
drugs were "completely and utterly false." Greenspan has said the golfer
is in no way linked to the charges against Galea.
The investigation into Galea began when his
assistant, who often drove the doctor around, was stopped attempting to
enter the United States from Canada.
Vials and ampules containing human growth
hormone and Actovegin were found in a car driven by Mary Anne Catalano,
according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and U.S. federal court
Catalano, a Canadian, told American
authorities at the border in Buffalo, N.Y., that she knew the drugs were
illegal and that she was transporting them for her employer. According
to an affidavit, Catalano also told authorities that her boss instructed
her to say she was coming to a medical conference if she were
questioned about the purpose of her trip and also to say that none of
the equipment was for treating patients.
Dr. Gary Wadler said in December that the
International Olympic Committee became concerned about Actovegin in 2000
after it appeared during that year's Tour de France. The drug was
placed on the banned list, then removed a year later because more
evidence was needed as to whether it was performance-enhancing or
damaging to athletes' health, said Wadler, who leads the committee that
determines the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned-substances list.
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