By Sam Weinman
A new book that examines baseball star Alex Rodriguez's use of performance-enhancing drugs also sheds new light on the treatment Tiger Woods received from the controversial Canadian doctor Anthony Galea.
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Although previous reports had Galea treating Woods just four or five times as he recovered from his 2008 knee surgery, the book, Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis and the Quest to End Baseball’s Steroid Era, said Galea visited Woods at his Florida home 14 times between January and August 2009 for a charge to Woods of $76,012. In addition, the book, citing a Florida Department of Health Investigation, said Galea's associate and fellow Canadian, Dr. Mark Lindsay, visited Woods 49 times between September 2008 and October 2009 for a charge of $118,979. Both doctors, authors Tim Elfrink and Gus Garcia-Roberts write in Blood Sport, also treated Rodriguez.
From late 2008 through 2009, when Woods was facing the worst injury of his career and Rodriguez was sidelined with a lingering hip problem, they sometimes talked abut the cutting-edge techniques of the two Canadian physicians treating both of them at the same time: Anthony Galea and Mark Lindsay.
Although Woods and Galea have both maintained the golfer's treatments involved legal platelet-rich plasma injections and not performance-enhancing drugs, the doctor has been linked to human growth hormone. His executive assistant was detained at the Canadian border in September 2009 while trying to bring unmarked HGH into the U.S., and Galea later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of bringing into the United States unapproved drugs.
In Blood Sport, Woods' former swing coach Hank Haney is quoted saying he wasn’t sure of the specifics of Galea’s dealings with Woods. Asked to elaborate on Tuesday, Haney told GolfDigest.com he never saw anything unlawful when present for Galea’s treatments of the golfer.
"I was there three or four of the times Anthony Galea was there, and I didn't see anything," Haney said. "I can only talk about what I saw. I never saw Tiger do anything like that. Even if he did, I'm not sure how it would help him. He's bigger and stronger from all the working out he does, but he's not faster or longer because of it. And it's not like he's avoiding injuries."
The PGA Tour declined to comment, and representatives for Woods did not immediately respond to inquiries.