Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods Drops Out of World’s Top 20 Reuters

Just a thought, but I can't help thinking in hindsight that Tiger Woods showed all of the characteristics of an athlete delivering exceptionally with the benefit of performance enhancing drugs in recent years.

Woods was a lean and powerful player with exceptional endurance, and he seemed to have something more than rare talent in becoming for years the world's top-ranked professional golfer.

Most all of the top professional golfers have rare talent, after all.

Sure, he had those red shirts he wore on Sunday for an extra boost, and he was a phenom since an early age -- but it seems, in looking back, there may have been something else. Just like it seemed with professional baseball players Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire. Just like it seems with cyclist Lance Armstrong. And, just like it seems with former standout MLB pitcher Roger Clemens.

The attorney for the chief witness in the Anthony Galea case -- the case involving Dr. Galea's guilty plea to smuggling performance drug HGH and other illegal drugs in the United States -- says, according to a report, I can tell you categorically that Tiger (Woods) did not receive either banned or performance-enhancing drugs when treating with Dr. Galea.

But it's still strange that Woods was a client of Dr. Galea for a period of time. Galea, who is not licensed to practice medicine in the United States, had a long list of high-profile athletes as clients, and Tiger Woods was one of them.

The chief witness in the case, former Gelea assistant Mary Anne Catalano, claims she saw Galea inject at least seven athletes with illegal performance enhancing drugs. Again, Catalano's attorney said in an e-mail statement, according to a report, that Tiger Woods did not receive banned or performance-enhancing drugs when treating with Dr. Galea.

But that doesn't answer why Woods was seeing Galea, who was unlicensed in the U.S., in the first place.

A Canadian doctor, Anthony Galea was charged in the U.S. in May, 2010, with smuggling and drug related charges stemming from his crossing the American border with HGH and other drugs, injecting athletes with human growth hormone and other substances. Known as a go-to doctor for injured elite athletes, Galea met with cilents at hotel rooms and in their homes, providing various medical treatments.

Physician Treated Woods

Some of the athletes were NFL players, and records show Galea travelled most frequently to Cleveland, while also visiting athletes in New York, Boston, Tampa, San Diego, San Francisco and other cities.

So even if Tiger Woods did not receive HGH or other performance enhancing drugs or injections from Galea, one can imagine that the only value Dr. Galea had to Woods was information related to HGH or other performance enhancing drugs.There's no law against talking about it, of course, but he didn't perform like he had only been talking about it.

Woods revealed through a sex scandal two years ago that resulted in divorce from his wife to not be the most discerning when it comes to smart career moves, costing himself millions in endorsement dollars. But one can also suspect based upon the negative media coverage professional athletes have been getting for years for involvement with performance-enhancing drugs that Woods knew better than to consult and purchase in the same spot, from the same doctor.

One can suspect that he knew better than buying performance-enhancing drugs directly at all. And, one can suspect that Woods would have wanted to know from a professional, firsthand, what the drugs could do, and how they should be used.

Woods Not the Same Player

There's also the reality that Woods no longer looks like the imposing figure on the course that he once was. Some people attribute that to natural aging. Others attribute that to stress over the sex scandal, divorce and lost endorsements. Last year Woods dropped from his long-held position as the world's No. 1 golfer, and both certainly played a role.

Woods also has a knee injury that has kept him out of tournaments this year, and some observers expect the injury is more severe than Woods has been willing to admit. That's probably true.

Also, for more than a year, he's been working on his swing. And nobody is sure why, since Woods' swing had nothing to do with his fall from golf's top position.

Some argue he wants to learn a different swing to take wear and tear off his injured knee, and that's plausible. But there's also the thought that now that he's had one controversy blow up, the sex scandal and divorce, Woods doesn't want another, one involving performance-enhancing drugs.

David Magee is the author of 12 books, including Endurance: Winning Life's Majors the Phil Mickelson Way.