Stallone fined for importing hormones to Australia

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Sylvester Stallone was fined $2,500 by an Australian court on Monday for illegally bringing 48 vials of human growth hormone into Australia during a promotional trip in February.

The court heard that Stallone, 60, told customs he was prescribed the prohibited hormone to give his aging body a boost and to look good while filming his latest “Rambo” movie in Asia.

“This stuff gives your body a boost and you feel and look good,” Stallone said in a customs interview. “Doing Rambo is hard work, and I am going to be in Burma for a while.

“Where do you think I am going to get this stuff in Burma?”

Stallone was charged with importing a prohibited substance in February during a three-day visit to Sydney to promote his film “Rocky Balboa.” Stallone then flew to Thailand to shoot his latest “Rambo” movie.

The “Rambo” and “Rocky” screen hero last week apologized to Australian authorities after he pleaded guilty to two charges of importing a prohibited substance.

His lawyer said Stallone was taking the hormone under doctors’ supervision for an undisclosed medical condition.

“This is not some back-alley bodybuilder dealing covertly with some banned substance in some sort of secret way,” his lawyer Phillip Boulten told an earlier court hearing.

Stallone was not in court when the New South Wales state Deputy Chief Magistrate Paul Cloran imposed the fine on Monday and ordered him to pay court costs of about $8,300. The maximum fine for the offence is A$110,000 (US$91,600).

Cloran said Stallone had tried to deceive customs by claiming to have a prescription for Jintropin -- the brand name of a human growth hormone manufactured by China-based GeneScience Pharmaceuticals -- which was found in his luggage when he arrived at Sydney airport.

But Jintropin was not legally available for retail use in the United States and therefore could not be prescribed, Cloran said.