Dr. Galea and Vicodin May Spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E for Tiger Woods

NC Nighthawk@NC Nighthawk (my Xbox gamertag)Analyst IDecember 15, 2009

ORLANDO, FL - DECEMBER 12:  A Nike Golf display featuring Tiger Woods is shown at a golf shop on December 12, 2009 in Orlando, Florida. Woods announced that he will take an indefinite break from professional golf to concentrate on repairing family relations after admitting to infidelity in his marriage. Woods has a line of golf products offered by Nike Golf. (Photo by Getty Images)
Getty Images/Getty Images

Other developing stories, besides Tiger Woods’ womanizing, may loom the largest in the Tiger Woods drama.

The news that Woods was treated by a doctor who is under investigation by the FBI, suspected of giving performance-enhancing drugs to some of the elite athletes in his care. According to The New York Times, a doctor, Tony Galea, has treated NFL quarterback Chris Simms, sprinter Donovan Bailey, swimmer Dana Torres,  and Tiger Woods.

This source states that Woods' management team, "alarmed at the slow pace of Mr. Woods' rehabilitation after knee surgery in June 2008," got in touch with Galea, who performed a blood-therapy procedure known as "blood spinning" on Woods on four separate occasions. The procedure is said to have helped speed Woods' recovery.

Does the PGA Tour, which governs most of the tournaments in which Woods competes, outside of  major championships, have any policy on the procedure?

The fact that Tiger Woods was treated by a doctor suspected of prescribing illegal performance-enhancing drugs will inevitably cause suspicion about Woods himself, which is  very serious in the world of golf.

Does a person who cheats on his wife multiple times also cheat in other areas of his life, even golf? If a golfer was suspected of trying to gain an illegal advantage on the course, that would be absolutely devastating to his career.

Even the slightest hint of cheating would do enormous damage to a golfer's reputation. In the golf world in recent years, there has been more concern about doped-up drivers and golf balls than players, but the PGA Tour last year began a random drug-testing policy.

The association of Woods with Dr. Galea is sure to raise questions. The other aspect of the Woods’ case that could damage his career involves drugs of another type.

After his notorious car crash outside his Florida home, a Florida state trooper "suspected Tiger Woods was driving under the influence" and "sought a subpoena for the golfer's blood results from the hospital he was taken," according to an Associated Press report. Prosecutors decided there was not enough evidence to go forward with a subpoena, but the trooper's report says that a witness, thought to be Woods' wife, Elin. told the trooper that Woods had been drinking earlier in the day and also had prescriptions for the sleep aid Ambien and the painkiller Vicodin.

This Vicodin prescription, which could be no big deal but just a brief, temporary use of the drug for a specific problem, inevitably raises the question of why Woods needed a powerful painkiller. His knee? Some other ailment? Something that did not warrant such a serious drug?

The fact that Elin Woods reported her husband had been drinking and then mentioned Ambien and Vicodin, raises questions about possible mixing of alcohol and pills.

Taken together, the developing stories of Tiger Woods about Dr. Galea and Vicodin could  become more consequential than the sensationalized frequent reports about Woods and women.

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