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Sports doctor won't face charges in Canada

Dr. Anthony Galea, the Toronto-based sports doctor who treated several high-profile athletes, will not face charges in Canada.

Last year Galea, whose patient list included baseball star Alex Rodriguez and golfer Tiger Woods, admitted smuggling drugs across the Peace Bridge and was granted one year of unsupervised release.

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada Friday ordered a "stay" against Galea but declined to provide reasons for deciding against pursuing charges against him, according to the Associated Press and Canadian Press.

He faced charges stemming from allegedly selling an unapproved drug as well as conspiring to import an unapproved drug, exporting a drug and smuggling goods into Canada, the AP reported.

Under Canadian law, the government could resurrect the charges within the next year. However, Crown lawyer Kerry Benzakein told the AP that prosecutors had "no intention of reinstating the proceedings."

Galea's attorney, Brian Greenspan, said the decision was actually made earlier this month. He announced it Friday to "clear the air," he said.

"It's time for the public to be aware that Dr. Galea no longer faces any criminal charges in Canada," Greenspan said.

Galea pleaded guilty in Buffalo last July to a federal felony charge of smuggling human growth hormone and two other drugs into the U.S. through his assistant, Mary Ann Catalano. Catalano was nabbed at the Peace Bridge in 2009, leading to the federal investigation.

Galea, who was not licensed to practice medicine in the U.S., also admitted to performing medical services on athletes in the U.S. case.

Citing Galea's reputation internationally as a respected physician to injured athletes, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara decided against sending the doctor to prison when he was sentenced in Buffalo on Dec. 16, instead imposing a year of unsupervised release.

Greenspan told the Canadian Press that he believes the disposition of the Buffalo case may have played a role in Canadian authorities' decision not to press charges.

email: citydesk@buffnews.com