SYDNEY, Australia - Actor Sylvester Stallone was formally convicted Monday of importing restricted muscle-building hormones into Australia and ordered to pay more than $9,870 in fines and court costs.
New South Wales state Deputy Chief Magistrate Paul Cloran said the "Rocky" and "Rambo" star had failed to show he had a valid prescription for vials of human growth hormone that were in his luggage when he arrived for a promotional tour in February. Stallone also had failed to declare the male hormone testosterone on a customs entry form, although he had a valid prescription.
Cloran fined Stallone $2,500 and ordered him to pay $8,200 in prosecution costs. Stallone, who was not present in court, had pleaded guilty last week.
A customs search of Stallone's luggage during a Feb. 16 visit to Sydney revealed 48 vials of the human growth hormone product, Jintropin.
Three days later, Stallone threw four vials of testosterone from his Sydney hotel room when customs officials arrived to search it, prosecutors said.
Human growth hormone, a naturally occurring substance that can be replicated synthetically and is used to build muscle mass, is considered a performance enhancing drug in Australia and it cannot be imported without a permit from the national drug regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Stallone's lawyer had said the actor should be spared a criminal conviction, saying Stallone took the hormones for medical reasons that he did not specify.
But prosecutors said Stallone had demonstrated a "consciousness of guilt" by throwing the testosterone from the hotel.
The maximum penalty for bringing Jintropin into Australia without a license is a fine of $91,500 and five years in prison.
But Stallone faced a maximum penalty $18,000 on each of the two charges and no prison time because the matter was heard in a local, not federal, court.
Cloran said that because of the publicity surrounding the case, the penalty was enough to send a clear message that such behavior would not be tolerated.
"I don't think there is anything further the court could or should do in order to deter Mr. Stallone from committing these offenses again," Cloran said.
He said he was satisfied the human growth hormone and testosterone were for Stallone's personal use, and that "there is no suggestion that the substances were being used for anything other than cosmetic or therapeutic purposes."
Prosecution documents handed to the court in March 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."
During his visit to Australia, Stallone shrugged off the airport incident.
"It was just a minor misunderstanding," Stallone told reporters "They were just doing their jobs. I just didn't understand some of the rules here."
He came to Australia on a three-day tour to promote the latest movie in the "Rocky" series, "Rocky Balboa."