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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 May 2007, 03:59 GMT 04:59 UK
Stallone admits hormone charges
Sylvester Stallone
Stallone did not enter his guilty plea in person
Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone has pleaded guilty to importing a banned human growth hormone into Australia.

The actor, 60, admitted possessing the growth hormone Jintropin when he was stopped at Sydney airport in February.

Stallone had been in Australia to promote his film Rocky Balboa, but he was not in the Sydney court on Tuesday.

He will be sentenced next week, when he faces a maximum fine of A$22,000 ($18,330, 9,200) in court, much lower than if it had been a federal case.

In federal cases, the maximum penalty for importing a banned substance of this type is A$110,000 ($91,600) and five years in prison.

Prosecution documents said Stallone had marked "no" on a customs declaration form that asked if he was bringing restricted substances into the country.

Bottles of Human Growth Hormone
Made in the pituitary gland
Stimulates growth in children
Regulates metabolism in adults
Medical uses include reversing muscle wastage in Aids patients
Has been promoted as an anti-ageing treatment
Jintropin is a synthetic version of the hormone

But an X-ray of bags belonging to his entourage uncovered the bottles of Jintropin, which is made by Chinese firm GeneScience pharmaceuticals.

"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 recognised medical treatment," Stallone was told in a customs document submitted to the court.

The vital ingredient in Jintropin is somatropin, which is advertised as reducing body fat, boosting muscle mass, improving sexual prowess and regenerating major organs.

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