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Sylvester Stallone Convicted of Bringing Banned Hormone Into Australia

Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone was formally convicted Monday of importing banned drugs into Australia and ordered to pay more than $9,870 in fines and costs.

New South Wales state Deputy Chief Magistrate Paul Cloran, imposing the sentence on Stallone, said the actor 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 had a valid prescription for testosterone, but had failed to declare it on a customs entry form, Cloran said.

Cloran fined Stallone, who was not present in court and had previously pleaded guilty, a total of about $2,500 on both charges and ordered him to pay prosecution costs of $8,200.

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."

Stallone was charged after a customs search of his luggage at the start of a three-day visit to Sydney in February revealed 48 vials of the human growth hormone drug Jintropin -- considered a performance-enhancing drug and banned in Australia.

Three days later, Stallone threw four vials of the male hormone testosterone out of the window of his Sydney hotel room when customs officials arrived to search it.

In a letter to the court in which he apologized for a "terrible mistake," the hero of the "Rocky" and "Rambo" movie franchises said he had taken the drugs for years for a medical condition that he didn't disclose.

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.

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 of $18,000 on each of the two charges and no prison time because the matter was heard in a local, not federal, court.