Alex Rodriguez has had a quiet spring training compared to last year’s circus, but that could change. According to the New York Daily News, Rodriquez and Tiger Woods are next in line for questioning by federal agents regarding Canadian doctor Tony Galea, who is under investigation for drug violations.
Galea faces charges in Canada for smuggling human growth hormone and Actovegin into the U.S. and Canada and also selling these prohibited goods in violation of Canada's Customs Act. He does not face any charges in America, but is in trouble after being arrested this past October, when the illegal drugs were seized from the car of his former assistant, MaryAnne Catalano, at the U.S.- Canadian border. Catalano told authorities that Galea, who is not licensed to practice medicine in the U.S., asked her to bring the drugs across the border because he was under surveillance and would face road blocks getting the cargo into the country.
Galea has treated many athletes with his controversial platelet-rich plasma injection therapy, called "blood spinning." The blood is spun in a centrifuge and is then reinjected in injured joints to promote healing. It is not considered an illegal procedure.
Woods is being targeting for questioning because Galea assisted him after knee surgery in 2008.
Rodriquez may be under fire because he is linked to Galea through chiropractor Mark Lindsay, who helped the Yankees’ third baseman with his rehabilitation following hip surgery last year. Lindsay and Galea are principals at Affinity Health, a Toronto sports medicine clinic.
Lindsay faced his own legal issues after being tied to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative (BALCO), a lab that provided designer steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs to athletes. Former athletes under his care were questioned in front of a BALCO grand jury. Athletes including Barry Bonds and Marion Jones were charged with lying to the feds. Jones served a six month sentence for perjury, and Bonds faces a trial with similar charges.
An unknown source also said that Galea traveled to New York to treat Rodriquez, The New York Times reports.
This is the first time the Yankees are hearing about any of this.
"I am not aware of any subpoena," GM Brian Cashman told the Daily News.
The Times reports that the Galea investigation is using athletes only to build a case against the doctor. The athletes, however, may face penalties in their respective sports, and if they do not honestly comply with the inquiry, they also could face legal trouble.
New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes already has been on the chopping block because he had Galea's blood-spinning procedure last year. Reyes talked to investigators with an agent and no lawyer, showing that Reyes is not too concerned about his own legal ramifications.
“They called me in the morning and said they wanted to meet me,” Reyes told the Times. “I mean, they said this is the FBI, and I said man, what did I do wrong? I was kind of surprised a little, scared, but after that, they said should be no problem with me. It’s just an investigation. Right now, I don’t worry because he don’t put nothing like that in my body. I know what he was doing with me, so I don’t have to worry about that because I know I’m fine.”
According to SI.com, many other top athletes with a connection to Galea could be subpoenaed.