Aussie Customs Bust Rocky


Milforum's Bouncer
Stallone faces charge of importing growth hormone
By Kathy Marks in Sydney
Published: 14 March 2007

He told reporters at the time that it was "a minor misunderstanding" and he "just didn't understand some of the rules here". But Australian customs officials were unimpressed, and yesterday the Hollywood actor Sylvester Stallone was charged with importing 48 vials of a human growth hormone.

Mr Stallone's private jet was searched after he arrived in Australia last month to promote his latest film, Rocky Balboa - the sixth instalment of the series about the rags-to-riches Philadelphia boxer who wins the world heavyweight championship.

A local newspaper claimed that, after the customs service began its investigation, members of his entourage were seen throwing items out of the window of his five-star hotel room overlooking Sydney Harbour.

The 60-year-old film star was not at Sydney local court yesterday as the charge against him was read out. He is believed to be in Thailand at present making his fourth Rambo film and was represented by his lawyer.

Mr Stallone will have to enter a plea at the next hearing in April, and faces a maximum fine of A$22,000 (£9,000) if convicted of illegally importing Jintropin, a hormone used to build muscle mass in patients with wasting or weight loss.

The court heard that Mr Stallone circled "no" on a customs form that asked whether he was bringing prohibited or restricted goods into the country, "such as medicines, steroids, firearms, weapons, or any kind of illegal drugs". But an X-ray of baggage on his arrival prompted a search that allegedly uncovered five boxes of Jintropin.

Mr Stallone and his team were held for several hours at Sydney airport after arriving on a scheduled Qantas flight on 16 February.

His hotel room and the private jet on which he planned to fly out, were searched three days later. He was then handed a court summons, which noted that "you have not been validly prescribed the drugs by a medical practitioner".

Human growth hormones cannot be imported into Australia without a special permit. Mr Stallone was charged with one count of importing a banned substance.

According to court documents, Jintropin - which contains the active ingredient somatropin - is not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, and is not a recognised treatment for any medical condition. The court documents noted that Mr Stallone did not suffer a medical condition that may have warranted using the hormone.

Somatropin is advertised on the internet as enhancing sexual performance, reducing body fat, increasing energy, removing wrinkles, boosting muscle mass and for the "regeneration of major organs that shrink with age".

Mr Stallone said the items seized were not steroids, explaining "it's something I've taken for years" and "it's not dangerous".

The case was adjourned until 24 April after Mr Stallone's lawyer, Robert Todd, asked for a six-week delay to allow time to gather material from overseas. The actor will not need to attend court, the magistrate said. The maximum fine for the offence is A$110,000, but Mr Stallone faces a lesser fine because his case is being dealt with in the local court.

Well well well... thanks to the Aussies for shedding some light on yet another drug taking cheating bastard. It explains why he looks pretty damn muscular for a 60 something year old actor.