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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.

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.

Sylvester Stallone says he did nothing illegal

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