Monday, June 28, 2010

Calvin Barry, Lawyer- Former Galea assistant accepts plea deal

Mary Anne Catalano, right, an assistant of assistant of Canadian Dr. Anthony Galea, and attorney Calvin Barry enter federal court in Buffalo, N.Y, on Thursday, June 24, 2010. Catalano, of Canada, accepted a plea deal on Thursday in which prosecutors agreed to drop a smuggling charge in exchange for her plea to the less serious count and her cooperation with investigators. Catalano was charged in September after U.S. border agents questioned her about vials of drugs, including human growth hormone, in her car. AP

Hayley Mick, Buffalo, N.Y.
From Friday's Globe and Mail
Published on Thursday, Jun. 24, 2010 7:30PM EDT

.U.S. District Judge Richard Arcara had one question for Mary Anne Catalano.

“Why did you do this?” he asked.

“It’s just...” Catalano began, struggling to speak. Then she began to cry.

“It was a lapse of judgment on my part,” she said, wiping away tears that streamed under her glasses. “But he was my employer, and someone I’d known since I was 15 years old. So, in the end, I didn’t think he would put me in this position.”

In pearls and a black pant suit, Catalano cut a tiny figure in the cavernous U.S. federal court room where she stood before a judge on Thursday. But it became clear she is prepared to play a major role in a drug scandal that could further rock professional sports, by co-operating with investigators and ultimately testifying against her former employer, Dr. Anthony Galea.

With the plea bargain accepted in Buffalo, prosecutors dropped a smuggling charge against Catalano in exchange for her plea to the less serious count of lying to federal agents about why she was trying to bring human growth hormone and other banned substances into the United States.

Galea faces several serious drug and smuggling-related charges in the United States, as well as separate charges in Canada. Galea was allegedly treating athletes, including Tiger Woods, without a licence to practise in the U.S.

On Thursday, the court heard that Catalano had been helping Galea with his medical visits to the U.S. for at least two years before she was stopped trying to enter into Buffalo on Sept. 14, 2009.

She lied to customs officers at first, the court heard, by saying she was on her way to a medical conference. She said the centrifuge, syringes and drugs that she was carrying were meant for display purposes only. But several hours later, she would be giving a very different account.

The court heard that the trip was just one of many trips that Catalano, a certified athletic therapist born and raised in Toronto, and Galea made to treat professional athletes in the U.S., beginning in 2007. During those visits, athletes received two treatments in particular. One was a blood spinning technique, known as PRP. The other was injections of substances into injured areas including Actovegin, a derivative of calf’s blood that is banned for use on humans in the U.S., and a cocktail of medical substances including Nutropin, a type of human growth hormone.

The athletes who allegedly received treatments were not identified in court Thursday. Outside the courtroom, Catalano’s lawyer, Rodney Personius, refused to discuss the Galea case and said Catalano would not be speaking publicly.

The Buffalo court heard that the visits happened in hotel rooms and athletes’ homes. The billing from a period of about two years totalled about $200,000. On one occasion, Catalano travelled to Germany to pick up Actovegin for Galea.

During all those visits, Catalano knew that he wasn’t licensed to practise in the United States. She also agreed to carry his medical supplies across the border on multiple occasions, because Galea had previously had trouble with border agents at Pearson Airport in Toronto.

Since her arrest, Catalano, who is single, has quit her job at Galea’s clinic in Etobicoke, Ont., and now works as an office manager at another high performance sports clinic in the Toronto area. Her Canadian lawyer, Calvin Barry, said she has had no contact with her former employer.

Personius said Catalano has travelled to Buffalo on at least four occasions since her arrest to work with investigators probing the activities of Galea.

Because of her co-operation with authorities, her maximum sentence of 18 to 24 months in prison, plus a $4,000 fine, could be reduced to no time in prison. Her sentencing is scheduled for October.

Several investigators probing the Galea case sat in the Buffalo courtroom yesterday. Afterward, one of them gave Catalano a hug.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Former Galea assistant admits guilt in drug case
Brought black market drugs across border for boss, court told
By Adrian Humphreys, National PostJune 25, 2010 6:05 AM

Mary Anne Catalano, assistant to the celebrity sports doctor Anthony Galea, watches on as her lawyers, Rodney Personius, left, and Calvin Barry meet reporters at her court appearance in Buffalo, NY. She pleaded guilty to lying when smuggling banned performance enhancing drugs across the Canada-U.S. border.
Photograph by: Adrian Humphreys, National Post

BUFFALO, N.Y. - The Canadian assistant to prominent Toronto sports doctor Anthony Galea -- who is charged in the United States with steroid distribution and suspected of treating dozens of professional athletes -- tearfully admitted in court she brought black market performance enhancing drugs and equipment across the border for her boss.

"It was a lapse of judgment on my part. He was my employer," Mary Anne Catalano, 32, of Toronto, said before breaking down, revealing her feelings of betrayal.

"He was someone I've known since I was 15 years old," she said, wiping away tears. "I didn't think he would put me in this position."

Catalano has been co-operating with authorities as they investigate Galea, who they say treated athletes from Major League Baseball, the National Football League and the Professional Golfers' Association at his office in Toronto and during house calls in the United States. Yesterday's proceedings in a federal court did not reveal any of his famous clients.

Rodney Personius, Catalano's attorney, said she would not be commenting publicly "because the investigation is ongoing and the government has made it clear it doesn't want the names disclosed."

Catalano is talking to government officials, however, and her co-operation will earn her a steep reduction in her punishment for lying to U.S. border guards.

On Sept. 14, 2009, Catalano pulled her car up to a customs booth on the American side of the Peace Bridge at Buffalo. She said she was going to meet her boss at a medical conference in Washington, D.C.

She explained that the bag of medical supplies, which included vials of human growth hormone and Actovegin, a centrifuge and syringes, was for display at the conference.

Her ruse soon evaporated, however, and she told the border agents she was really meeting Galea to treat a professional athlete. She said she packed the bag following a checklist he gave her.

Catalano had brought such equipment across the border more than 20 times before and met pro athletes in their homes or hotel rooms with Galea for treatment. She had also brought supplies back to Toronto from Germany for Galea, court heard.

Sometimes the athletes came to his Toronto office for treatment but when he travelled to meet them, the athlete paid for their travel and arranged their hotel accommodations, court heard. He provided platelet-rich plasma therapy, where the client's blood is extracted, put through a centrifuge to separate the plasma and injected into a knee to accelerate healing, and "cocktail" injections.

Computer authorities found more than $200,000 in invoices for Galea's services on Catalano's computer.

Despite Galea's international reputation -- his claimed client list that includes Tiger Woods, Donovan Bailey and Alex Rodriguez, although there is no indication he provided them banned substances -- he is not licensed to provide medical services in the United States.

Catalano's co-operation and plea to lying to border guards means she will likely avoid serving jail time when she is sentenced in October.

She told Judge Richard Arcara that she now works as an office manager of a high-performance sports medicine firm that is not related to Galea.

She has not spoken to Galea since her arrest, said her Canadian lawyer, Calvin Barry.

© Copyright (c) North Shore News

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Calvin Barry, Defence Attorney

Feds want more time to probe assistant to Tiger Woods doc Tony Galea, MaryAnne Catalano

By Nathaniel Vinton

Tuesday, January 12th 2010, 7:42 PM

A federal prosecutor in Buffalo has asked a judge for two more months to investigate the case of MaryAnne Catalano, a former assistant to Tony Galea, the controversial Canadian doctor who treated Tiger Woods and many other pro athletes.

On Monday, assistant U.S. Attorney Paul J. Campana submitted a sealed affidavit in the federal court in the Western District of New York, seeking an extended deadline in the case involving Catalano, who was arrested on smuggling charges on Sept. 14.

Border agents at the U.S.-Canada border stopped Catalano that day, searched her car, and found human growth hormone, syringes and medical equipment she said belonged to Galea. The next month, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police raided Galea's clinic and later charged him with four drug crimes. The charges involve Galea's supply of HGH, which is banned in sports, and Actovegin, a derivative of calf's blood that is not approved for use in Canada.

Catalano, a former kinesiology student at the University of Waterloo, was expecting to meet with federal agents and prosecutors in Buffalo this week, but that meeting is off said Calvin Barry, her attorney in Toronto.

“She has found new employment, and she is continuing to cooperate with the authorities,” Barry told the Daily News.

Barry said he believes law enforcement officers on both sides of the border are working together on parallel investigations. He said he did not know of any grand jury investigations into Catalano or Galea.

Brian Greenspan, Galea's attorney, has strenuously denied his client was involved in providing performance-enhancing substances to athletes.

A criminal complaint filed in September by a special agent of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement says Catalano told agents she knew administering the medications she carried was illegal in the United States, and that her employer told her that if she was questioned about the purpose of her trip, "she should say that they were coming to the United States for a conference with other medical professionals and that none of the equipment she was bringing into the United States was for treating patients."

Galea is known to have treated Woods with platelet-rich plasma therapy, a technique that is not illegal, although the treatments took place in Florida, where Galea has never been licensed to practice medicine. Florida's state's Department of Health is investigating reports on Galea.

On Tuesday, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study concluding that the technique – which typically involves injecting a patient's own plasma into the vicinity of an inflamed tendon – is not an effective method of increasing mobility or reducing pain.

Read more:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Calvin Barry, Toronto Criminal Lawyer Defends Galea's Assistant

Prescription for trouble

How an A-list doctor, whose patients include Tiger Woods and Alex Rodriguez, wound up on the wrong side of the law

by Jonathon Gatehouse on Wednesday, June 2, 2010 2:40pm -

The price sounds steep—$3,500, plus expenses, for a house call—but for the kind of people seeking Dr. Anthony Galea’s help, it’s chump change. New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez used his services, as did his on-again-off-again girlfriend Madonna, and Swedish soccer star and Calvin Klein underwear model Freddie Ljungberg, per a well-placed source. Tiger Woods flew him to Florida five or six times—business class, naturally. According to an affidavit filed in court when the RCMP searched Galea’s offices in mid-October, seeking evidence of performance-enhancing drugs, the 51-year-old doctor treated 23 pro-athletes in eight different American cities over a nine-week period last summer. During the last decade, hundreds more from the NFL, NHL, CFL, NBA, major league baseball, track and field, and beyond, have beaten a path to his unassuming clinic, now located near Pearson International Airport, seeking to ease their aches and injuries. And even after Tony Galea’s name has been dragged through the mud for months, fingered as the latest sports “Dr. Feelgood,” the calls still keep coming. When David Beckham tore his Achilles tendon in March, shattering his World Cup dream, he reached out to Galea, looking for a miracle. The doctor turned him away.

On May 18, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Buffalo, N.Y., filed five charges against Galea, including smuggling, distributing human growth hormone (HGH), and introducing an unapproved drug—the calves’ blood extract Actovegin—to interstate commerce. If convicted on all counts, he could face up to 38 years in prison, and $1.25 million in fines. It was simply the latest twist in a saga that has sent the Justice Department and the FBI sniffing around some of the biggest names in sport, seeking evidence of cheating. And it promises to get messier still.

Last Sept. 14, Mary Anne Catalano, then Galea’s executive assistant, was pulled over as she entered the U.S. at the Peace Bridge border crossing near Niagara Falls. In the car, a 2009 Nissan Rogue registered to one of Galea’s companies, officers found an ultrasound computer, a centrifuge, and a medical bag stuffed with 111 syringes, 20 vials, and 76 ampoules of various prescription and homeopathic drugs. Within the bag was one partially used bottle of HGH. The 32-year-old initially told investigators that the supplies were for a medical conference she was flying on to in Washington, but, under questioning, quickly recanted the story. The truth, Catalano said, was she was bringing the drugs across the border at Galea’s behest—the doctor, who has no licence to practice south of the border, had been stopped by U.S. Customs officers at Pearson the February before and feared his file was “flagged.” The real purpose of the trip to Washington, she said, was to treat a member of the NFL’s Redskins.

The border agents seized and searched Catalano’s laptop, BlackBerry and an external hard drive. With her assistance—she has been classified as a “co-operating witness”—they traced Galea’s movements around the U.S. since the summer of 2007, pulling calendars, treatment notes and invoices. The RCMP affidavit, still sealed in Canada, but leaked to the American sports channel ESPN, says Catalano identified seven different pro athletes to whom Galea had administered HGH. The charges filed in Buffalo only make specific reference to one case of growth-hormone use, alleging the doctor provided the drug to a retired NFL player in connection with “quality of life issues.”

Catalano’s Toronto lawyer Calvin Barry won’t discuss what his client has told the FBI. (She’s due back in a Buffalo court June 11, when she hopes the charges against her will be dropped.) But Barry isn’t exactly shying away from suggestions that there is more— much more—to come. He’s fielded calls from investigators from all the major sports leagues, and muses about the possibility of her testifying at U.S. Congressional hearings. “She met a bundle of celebrities. It was an interesting experience for her, a little girl from Etobicoke,” he says.

In the press, Galea is being portrayed as the next Victor Conte, the San Francisco lab owner whose designer steroids fuelled home-run records and Olympic medallists. The charges and the raid on his clinic have brought unwelcome publicity for his patients, including Canadian figure skater Patrick Chan, who sought treatment for an ankle injury in the run-up to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Much has been made about the doctor’s “unorthodox” treatments, including the use of platelet rich plasma (PRP), where the patient’s blood is concentrated through spinning, then reinjected into the injury area to help speed healing. For some, it’s uncomfortably cutting edge: the World Anti-Doping Authority (WADA) barely tolerates it because of its potential for abuse, demanding athletes seek a therapeutic exemption.

But that forward-thinking reputation is precisely why Galea attracted so many big-name clients, and such renown among his fellow sports physicians. “Dr. Galea has never engaged in the performance enhancement of any athlete. He’s a healer,” says Brian Greenspan, his Canadian defence counsel. To prove the point he flips through a thick binder of testimonials, many collected as Galea started to seek a U.S. work visa on the basis of “extraordinary ability,” and a Colorado medical licence in the spring and summer of 2009. Bill Knowles, a Vermont sports trainer, wrote that he had referred elite athletes—including Tiger Woods—to the Toronto physician for the past six years. “Tiger has been most impressed and pleased with his level of expertise.” Marc J. Philippon, the Colorado surgeon who operated on A-Rod’s hip last spring, wrote: “Dr. Galea is one of the top one to two per cent of individuals throughout the world currently working within the field of PRP injections in athletes.” The Steadman Hawkins Clinic in Denver had offered Galea a position. One of the principals, Theodore Schlelgel, team physician for both the Denver Broncos and Colorado Rockies, wrote that he would serve as Galea’s sponsor.

Monday, June 7, 2010


Monday, June 7, 2010
News Columnists / Joe Warmington

Holy puck! A sacred piece of rubber


Last Updated: May 29, 2010 10:28am

Who would have thought a black piece of rubber could be so coveted?

However this is not just any piece of rubber. For Canadian hockey fans this is akin to the Holy Grail.

But some 38 years after he picked it up off the ice after Game 8 in Moscow and stuck it into his glove, legendary Team Canada defenceman Pat “Whitey” Stapleton says the time is coming soon when a decision will have to be made just what to do with “The Puck.”

“We better figure something out before we all disappear,” teased 70-year-old Stapleton Friday from his Strathroy home of the disc Paul Henderson slipped by Vladislav Tretriak to win the 1972 Summit Series. “If you have any ideas about what to do with it, let me know.”

How about the Hockey Hall of Fame? He says he offered it to them in 1972.

“There was not much interest and they were talking about authenticity so I thought I’d just hang on to it for a while,” he said with a chuckle.

That has now turned into decades. “I was thinking maybe my grandkids should shoot it into a snowbank,” he says laughing.

Stapleton is just kidding. He’s always kidding. The truth is he can’t really decide what to do with it. “It’s a team puck actually,” he said. “I think maybe the team should decide.”

So he figures he will hang onto it until they all get together for the 40th anniversary in 2012.

“Maybe we will sort it out then but maybe we can hang on to the 50th,” he said once again laughing.

The puck pursuit continues.

Speaking on coveted items the Number 19, Team Canada sweater worn to score that winning goal now has a bid of $131,138 on the Classic Auctions website.

Henderson is hoping for a benefactor with loads of cash to come along and buy it and give it to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame of which he is a member.

“Paul was a Maple Leaf when he scored the historic goals for Team Canada. It would be a wonderful gesture if MLSE secured the jersey and return it to him,” suggests reader Duncan Mackenzie.

Maybe it could go to the new CSHF in Calgary for a while, then to the Hockey Hall of Fame and even one day on display at the Air Canada Centre?

Still no new bids on Teeder Kennedy’s teeth and $550 will get you his replacement 1945 Stanley Cup ring so far. Wonder what The Puck would be worth?

So many ask ‘why is Paul Henderson not in the Hockey Hall of Fame?’

“Tretiak is and he let in six goals in the biggest game of his life,” said Mackenzie.

It is amazing the guy who let in the goal is in and the guy who scored it isn’t.

Critics say Henderson should not be in for one game but the truth is he scored the winning goal in the final three games, seven in that series and had 388 professional goals and 399 assists, which certainly is in the same range as other honoured and deserving members like Clark Gillies, Bob Pulford and even Bob Gainey.

I feel he was left out because of the resentment of a few atheists on the selection committee of his strong Christian faith which means if you have faith he will one day get in there. Battling cancer Paul is a class man all the way and a role model — with or without the Hall’s honour.

Members of the Peterborough Mad Dogs have done something no member of the Toronto Maple Leafs have done in 43 years — got in a picture with the Stanley Cup.

Actually members of the Peterborough Minor Hockey Association junior tyke team, ages six and seven, had a special party at the home of co-coach Paul Johnston Friday with The Cup and six-time winner and NHL legend Mark Messier as the winners of the Team Up To Bring Home The Cup contest sponsored by Pepsi-QTG and TSN.

Pictured with Messier are co-coaches Johnston and Matt Hubble and players Ashley McLaughlin, Robyn and Scott Broersma, Damian Cheung, Liam Goodfellow, Logan Hannah, Jamie Hubble, Matthew Johnston, Noah McDonald, Emmitt Shannon, Logan Menard, Emmerson Jacobs, Patrick Tompkins and Cole Hubble.

“What a class act Mark was with the kids,” said Paul.

I am picking the Philadelphia Flyers to win the cup. The reason? I am predicting Petrolia’s own Michael Leighton to stand on his head. The goalie was in a Scrawler column April 26, 2008 for doing just that — then with the AHL Albany River Rats when he had 101 shots fired at him in almost eight periods of playoff hockey. He may have to do that again against the Hawks. I hope he does.

Congrats to the big-hearted Toronto Police Association who raised $7,000 for Ronald McDonald House at its annual golf tournament at beautiful Angus Glen this week. Everybody was there. Famous defence counsels Calvin Barry, Joe Markson, Tim Danson and coppers like Mike Abbott, Rick Perry, Dan Nealon and Hugh Ferguson and of course TPA president Mike McCormack.

I was in a foursome with CTV’s Ken Shaw, musician Marty Anderson and businessman Ian Overs and together we shot -4, just five shots off one of those big TVs. It was a blast, for a good cause and I love Shaw’s story about the time he struck a greens-keeper in the head with a ball. “I rushed down to see if he was okay,” said Ken. “I said what’s your name? The kid looked up and said ‘my name is John.’ Well John, my name is Gord Martineau and help is on the way.”

Enjoy your weekend, everybody. Scrawler out!