Wed, Feb 21, 2007 - Page 1 News List

Australian Customs floors Sly Stallone with one-two punch

AFP , SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

Australian customs officers raided actor Sylvester Stallone's hotel room and private jet just days after finding outlawed substances in his entourage's luggage, a report said yesterday.

The one-two punch on the Rocky star's room and plane came on Monday, three days after he was detained when banned items, reportedly bodybuilding drugs or a human growth hormone, were found in his party's luggage at Sydney airport.

Officers, who went to Stallone's hotel on Sydney's harborside to serve him a summons following Friday's seizure, allegedly saw people in his room tossing items out the window, the Daily Telegraph reported.

"A senior [customs] source told the Daily Telegraph the investigation was fast-tracked after occupants of Stallone's room at the five-star Park Hyatt Hotel were seen throwing items out of the window," the paper said.

Authorities also searched the private plane of the 60-year-old star, who was in Australia to promote Rocky Balboa, the sixth and last movie in the series, before allowing him to leave the country later on Monday, the Telegraph said.

A representative for Australian Customs declined to confirm or deny the report, while Park Hyatt spokeswoman Lara Dawson said the hotel had no comment on the incident.

The dramatic swoops followed the US actor's detention for several hours by airport customs officers after "prohibited" items were detected in X-rays of luggage being brought into the country by his entourage. Customs officials, however, declined to confirm the nature of the banned items.

The Telegraph said that the seized items were believed to be bodybuilding drugs or a human growth hormone banned in Australia.

Stallone said the incident was a misunderstanding as he attended the premiere of Rocky Balboa at an open-air screen beside Sydney Harbour on Saturday night.

When quizzed by reporters as to what in his luggage had sparked the high-profile furore, he retorted jokingly: "A giant cheetah," or "my wife."

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