[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 21 May 2007, 01:34 GMT 02:34 UK
Stallone fined for hormone import
Sylvester Stallone
Stallone was visiting Australia to promote the latest Rocky film
Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone has been convicted of importing a banned growth hormone into Australia and has been ordered to pay fines and costs.

A judge in New South Wales state ordered Stallone to pay A$13,000 ($10,700; 5,400) - the majority of it costs incurred by the prosecution.

Stallone, who was not present in court, had earlier pleaded guilty to charges.

The actor was charged in February with bringing growth hormone Jintropin with him on a publicity tour to Australia.

A customs search of his luggage at Sydney airport revealed 48 vials of the drug, which Australia regards as a performance-enhancing substance and has banned.

The judge said Stallone was being fined for bringing Jintropin into the country without a valid prescription.

He also fined the actor for failing to declare at customs that he was importing another drug, testosterone, into Australia - despite having a prescription for it.

Stallone threw four vials of testosterone out of his hotel window when customs officers came to search his room, three days after he arrived in Australia.

Lesser penalty

The judge said he believed the Jintropin and testosterone were for Stallone's personal use.

HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE
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

"There is no suggestion that the substances were being used for anything other than cosmetic or therapeutic purposes," the Associated Press news agency quotes the judge as saying.

Stallone visited Australia in February to promote the latest instalment in his Rocky film franchise.

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

Australia's maximum penalty for importing banned substances of this type is A$110,000 ($90,600; 45,900) and five years in prison.

Stallone faced a lower penalty because his case was heard in a local, rather than federal, court.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Sylvester Stallone says he did nothing illegal



SEE ALSO
Stallone admits hormone charges
15 May 07 |  Entertainment
Stallone freed after Customs quiz
17 Feb 07 |  Entertainment
Crowds welcome latest Rocky film
17 Jan 07 |  Entertainment
Star Stallone donates Rocky props
06 Dec 06 |  Entertainment
Stallone ends 'real Rocky' fight
09 Aug 06 |  Entertainment
Stallone back in ring for Rocky 6
17 Oct 05 |  Entertainment

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific