Stallone, 60, Charged with Importing Banned Hormone

Sylvester Stallone was charged by the Australian authorities with importing vials of a banned human growth hormone into the country, when he arrived on Feb. 16 to promote his latest “Rocky Balboa” movie.

Prosecution documents handed to the court Tuesday said Stallone had marked “No” on a customs declaration card that asked if he was bringing into Australia restricted or prohibited goods “such as medicines, steroids, firearms, weapons, or any kind of illicit drugs.”

After they showed up on an X-ray of his luggage, the airport staff in Sidney discovered 48 vials of the human growth hormone product Jintropin, made by Chinese firm GeneSciene Pharmaceuticals.

“It was just a minor misunderstanding,” Stallone told reporters in Sydney after the incident. “They were just doing their jobs. I just didn’t understand some of the rules here.”

Subsequently, Stallone’s apartment and private jet were searched by the authorities three days later.

“You have not been validly prescribed the goods by a medical practitioner for any medical condition suffered by you and for which the goods are recognized medical treatment,” Stallone was told in a customs document handed to the court Tuesday, according to Pravda.

Magistrate David Heilern adjourned the case in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court for a plea on April 24. Stallone, 60, will be excused from attending court if he is represented by his lawyer, Robert Todd, The Telegraph reports.

The newspaper also reports Jintropin is advertised on the internet as enhancing sexual performance, reducing body fat, increasing energy, removing wrinkles, boosting muscle mass and for the “re-generation of major organs that shrink with age.”

Pravda notes that the maximum penalty for bringing it into Australia illegally is a fine of 110,000 Australian dollars (US$86,000; EUR 65,000) and five years in prison, but the court can only impose a fine of A$22,000 (US$17,000; EUR 13,000).

After the critical and box office failure of the previous and presumably last installment Rocky V, Stallone decided that he should end the series with a sixth installment which would be a much more worthy end to the franchise, so “Rocky Balboa” was created. The total domestic box office gross is coming to a close with just over 70 million, almost four times its production budget. His performance in Rocky Balboa has been praised and garnered mostly positive reviews.

Stallone is currently in production on the latest Rambo sequel, “John Rambo.” Several script review on the internet, have been positive.

It was also recently announced that Sylvester Stallone would be directing a movie on The Forty Days of Musa Dagh, based on the book written by Franz Werfel.

Stallone and President Bush share the same birthday. According to Wikipedia, Stallone is also one of President George W. Bush’s two favorite actors. The other is fellow action hero and conservative Chuck Norris. Both men attended Bush’s inauguration as President in 2001, but Stallone also hosted a Democratic fundraising dinner in 1998.

(this article contains bio excerpts from Wikipedia’s article on Stallone)

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