Sharapova banned but Serena got off free

0,,12781~11719818,00Serena Williams refused a 2011 surprise drug test at her Los Angeles residence – and got no ban for doing so. ‪Sharapova‬ was caught earlier this year using a substance called meldonium which was legal for nine yrs and then is suddenly arbitrarily banned this year – and gets walloped today with a two year ban. Life is fair? White privilege? Or black privilege? Was this justice or injustice for Maria Sharapova? Or globalist agenda politics at work? Other male professional players were banned for refusing a drug test but Serena got off free for doing the same thing … could it be because the tennis powers-that-be protected Serena because they want to continue to develop tennis into the black market? Sharapova might want to hire a legal team to confront what appears to be a brutal display of injustice.

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  • Michael · June 9, 2016 at 1:56 am

    “suddenly arbitrarily banned this year”

    Have you ever cracked the WADA Doping Rules or checked into the process for amending the banned list ?

    Of course not or you would not be able to write something so inaccurate.

    Reasonable people might disagree on the process for deciding which substances are to be banned. No one that has even a remote familiarity with the process can suggest any substance makes the list “suddenly.” It’s obviously not how it works.

    Serena’s case is an interesting one to bring up but I think it’s more analogous to Viktor Troicki “the doctor said I didn’t have to take the test” then Pova’s “I didn’t know it was banned.”

  • Michael · June 9, 2016 at 3:19 am

    “suddenly arbitrarily banned this year ”

    Suddenly ?

    September 29, 2014 when the 2015 Banned List was published and more than A FULL YEAR before Meldonium was placed on the Banned List athletes were first put on notice that the substance was being evaluated by WADA for possible inclusion on the banned list (and hence they darn well better check the 2016 list if they are taking it).

    The 2016 list which included Meldonium was published a full three months before the ban became active 1 Jan 2016.

    It is not a sudden announcement. They put people on notice what drugs are in the monitoring program and it’s at least a year until they put it on a banned list which itself doesn’t go into effect for at least 3 months after that. So minimum you get 15 months notice.

    It seems like it’s plenty of time to either (1) obtain a Therapeutic Use Exemption, (2) find an alternative to the banned drug or (3) find an alternative to professional sports.

  • Mat4 · June 9, 2016 at 6:42 am

    – Mildronate (meldonium) needs months to be cleared from the body. The WADA itself doesn’t know how long. Many articles on the net about it, and you can check it on Twitter too, where you have excerpts of the official decision.

    — Its PED effects have not been proved.

    — The case of Serena is very clear: she REFUSED to be tested. The testers presented themselves, and came at the time when they were allowed to come.

    — Here, you have an article by Mark Chapman about the usual ways it works:


    Anyway, the whole story, as it has been presented to us, is a bunch of lies, from the beginning to the end.

    — There’s no chance Maria’s staff didn’t know she took Meldonium. It’s clear that Maria lied to cover them. Meldonium is not approved for use in the US. Their involvement would mean no job for them in sport any more, while she can still have a great career in fashion, e.g. And she’s very rich, BTW.

    — There’s no chance whatsoever that she would use meldonium without the help of a physician, on her own.

    — When you read carefully, you can see that everything was done to make as difficult as possible to know that meldonium was added on the list.

    — There is no chance, especially if she was doping, that the persons in charge for that wouldn’t know about meldonium.

    It’s just a charade.

  • Mat4 · June 9, 2016 at 6:51 am

    Meldonium was added on the list because:

    1) it isn’t sold in western countries,

    2) it needs from 6 months to a whole year to be cleared from the body, especially if it has been used for years on a regular basis, (the WADA, which has “tested” it, doesn’t know how long… after a year of testing???)

    3) and it has been banned 8 months before the OG.

    It’s used primarily for heart protection.

    What’s even more strange is that MANY athletes didn’t notice it was added to the list of banned substances. How is it possible?

  • Mat4 · June 9, 2016 at 6:53 am

    Excellent article, Scoop. I know you couldn’t write — just like I can’t — all that is involved in this case. But it looks more and more like a set-up.

  • Michael · June 9, 2016 at 6:59 am

    I suggest you read the tribunal decision.

    And excretion rates never had any relevance to Pova’s case whatsoever. She took the banned substance in January.

    Notice her attorneys, of course, never raised the excretion issue, The only thing they came up with was their estoppel argument which the tribunal chewed up and spit out and the proportionality argument based on the 2015 rule amendments which was also slapped down.

    See ya after the CAS decision !

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 9, 2016 at 8:20 am

    There is no doubt Sharapova is guilty here and knowingly guilty – her defense and excuses suggest great arrogance by her and her team – but the point of the article is that Serena received preferential treatment – Serena ducked a test and it’s obvious why she felt the need to duck that 2011 test -

  • Mat4 · June 9, 2016 at 8:52 am

    I read the decision. I read Head statement too, and many documents related to this case.

    It’s clear that Sharapova took Meldonium, and that she hid it. But that the WADA decision to put Meldonium on the list of banned product has a political background, and the way it was done is unethical.

    More about it:


    Then, she didn’t write it on the list of medication she uses? She lives in the US, where the medication is not allowed for use.


    Carl Lewis had a preferential treatment (he was caught doping and pardoned), the Armstrong case was revealed when it couldn’t be covered up any more, the US Olympic cycling team had a preferential treatment; US athletes always have a preferential treatment. Remember Agassi? Powerful federations protect their players.

    But on the other side, Martina Hingis was banned for two years, for the same offense Gasquet was pardoned. Was she the girl he kissed? Troicki was banned for the same offense Serena did.

  • Mat4 · June 9, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Here, you have an interview with Angel Heredia, that shows how doping is done — without being caught.


    The case of Sharapova is a pseudo-case.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 9, 2016 at 9:32 am

    Mat: Roy Jones at the height of his powers tested positive also – after his fight with Richard Hall there was an interview on a very small boxing site with Hall who astonishingly revealed that he and Jones had BOTH tested positive after their title fight in Indianapolis – for a few days the media either didn’t know or didn’t report it – So I contacted the Indianapolis boxing commissioner and asked if it was true regarding what Hall had said about Jones testing positive and he told me Yes Roy Jones tested positive – So I broke that story on boxinginsider and still the rest of the boxing media and mainstream media ignored the story – a week later I called back the commissioner and asked if any media had followed up on the story and he said only two people called regarding the case – a publication from France and Jones’ lawyer – Jones later addressed the controversy and used two excuses for the positive test – that he used an over the counter Ripped Fuel product and he also used a “nasal decongestant” – no fines no punishment from any authorities – Roy Jones tested positive and the mainstream media and boxing powers that be swept it under the carpet -

  • Mat4 · June 9, 2016 at 10:04 am


    That’s the way it works, as you know it quite well. The other day, a friend, one of the best Nole fan around (Novak is a follower of her Twitter account), revealed that Djokovic avoided eating a single piece of his anniversary cake.

    With all the PR war that rages now (I asked myself if the last Tignor article about Murray was paid for), the big redistribution of cash awaiting Fed’s retirement, he better be very careful.

    BTW, his contract with Uniqlo ends this year, I believe, and I would like to know how big will the next amount be. Around 15M, I guess, perhaps more, for clothes and shoes. Head’s part could well be 10M.

    And, it’s not just by chance that Serena topped Maria with endorsements after this affair.

  • Andrew Miller · June 9, 2016 at 11:08 am

    Sharpie…it is what it is. If any ATP tour star is doping and gets caught, they’ll face this kind of music too.

    Unfairness? Unfairness is using the meldo+ when it’s clearly banned.

    Can anyone evaluate the stupid claim that off the shelf medication has banned substances in it? I find it hard to believe players just throw down off the shelf medication that has trace amounts of crap in it.

  • Andrew Miller · June 9, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Murray’s had a career year. He deserves press.

  • Hartt · June 9, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    I read the actual report on Sharapova and thought the decision was fair. She admitted she used the drug in 2016, prior to each of her AO matches. It was her responsibility to know what was on the banned list.

    The fact that she did not tell her team (outside of her agent) that she was using meldonium and that she did not acknowledge it on the forms for drug usage show that she was hiding that she was using it. It was also clear, given the way she used the drug prior to matches that it was meant to help her in those matches.

    Although it is disturbing that Serena was able to avoid the drug test without penalty that is a separate issue and I wonder if, with the current spotlight on doping, if the situation would be handled differently now.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 9, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    @Mat4: I have a friend who is a fitness and nutrition freak (boxing and nutrition coach) and he wont eat anything bad – no dairy no cheese no soda no french fry no rice no pasta no beans nothing he believes is not good for the body’s health and digestion – he won’t even eat certain fruits bc they have too much sugar – but he is fitter than anyone I ever saw and so I can easily believe Djokovic has the same discipline if not even greater given what the rewards are at stake. Pro tennis has to have a strategy for the post Federer era. Will be very interesting to see where Djokovic goes post Uniqlo. I wonder if the union has been fruitful for Uniqlo. With your last line I suddenly begin to wonder if Serena could have possibly played any hand in the capture of Sharapova – or if Sharapova has been badgering authorities behind the scenes to investigate Serena with extra zeal. Anything is possible.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 9, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Andrew: You seem to forget that Rios and Bjorkman have said they have heard of positive drug tests being covered up – because certain stars are too important to the Tour – The off the shelf substances always seemed like a perfect scapegoat for caught players – Roy Jones actually tried blaming two off the shelf products – Ripped Fuel and a nasal decongestant :)

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 9, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Andy is a great player but does he sell outside of England? Does he sell tickets and bring TV ratings outside of UK?

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 9, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Hartt: If there is a political agenda to protect Serena like Floyd mayweather and President Obama are protected – the answer to your question is no -

  • Michael · June 9, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    I agree at least that the Serena situation was somewhat bizarre from the accounts I saw online.

    But they could take the position which I guess by inference they did that she didn’t technically refuse a test. I don’t recall the details but something like she ran into her safe room and then the cops came and the doping officer eventually left ?

    I never got why the test didn’t proceed once the cop determined the doping person was not an intruder. Which I guess is your point.

  • Michael · June 9, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    PS, I actually joked after VTs decision came down that the players need a portable safe room to be made available at tournaments’and VTs error was not learning that from Serena’s experience.

  • Michael · June 9, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    @mat4 “Then, she didn’t write it on the list of medication she uses? She lives in the US, where the medication is not allowed for use.”

    You purport to have read the decision so you know the players are required to list all the drugs they take because drugs you are allowed to take may contain masking agents.

    Suffice to say they were not impressed with her testimony as to why she failed to do so.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 9, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Star athletes can be protected by the establishment – Rios and Bjorkman said this in different words – Floyd mayweather was caught by officials taking an illegal IV the day before his fight with Pacquiao last year – the illegal IV is commonly used by PED using athletes to mask their drug use – that’s why the IV ingredient dosages mayweather used was considered to be illegal – so this discovery was covered up until two months AFTER the fight which is understandable considering how much money was at stake (both fighters earned over $100 million – imagine what the promoters and gambling syndicates earned) – if it was another fighter with far less political connections you can be pretty sure the guilty boxer would have been withdrawn from his fight – but this fight was too big to apply the rules – mayweather should have been disqualified after the fight and the decision should have been ruled a “no contest” in respect to the rules – imagine the mess that would have created with the gambling syndicates – the point is: major sports with huge audiences and money are of course vulnerable to corruption and cover ups -

  • Andrew Miller · June 9, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Murray is #2. There is no u.s. man in top ten. What is Tignor supposed to write about? Sock’s efforts to improve his backhand? Isner pushing past 30 while sliding down the double digit rankings? Johnsons 2:1 ratio in the lose win column and soon to take effect boot from the top fifty again? The next next generations decision to get married ala Henin marriage number one? Ryan Harrison’s non appearance in press because it is justified based on being overshadowed by a hungry next next generation that may nonetheless follow his marriage lead and maybe his game southward in the depths of triple digit rankings?

    Please…write on Murray. It is a lot more interesting.

  • Andrew Miller · June 9, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    And Djoko has more name recon than any u.s. men’s player in the u.s. We r kidding ourselves to claim in any serious way that today’s u.s. contingent has anything remotely approaching popularity stateside. Isner has been brave but a lackluster year again.

    We are in tennis doldrums here in u.s. That may change by the us open but its where we are now.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 9, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    One of the biggest tennis fans I know – and I know a LOT of huge tennis fanatics – is a huge Andy fan – always posting about Andy on twitter and FB and buys all the UA attire and shoes – so Andy definitely has great appeal but not quite in the league of RF or Rafa – I like Andy a lot and believe he is fantastic for tennis and he’s always been a great interview whenever I asked – just think of how many majors he would have if RF Rafa and Djok played soccer instead of tennis – I’d guess 35-40 :)

  • Mat4 · June 9, 2016 at 2:26 pm


    I wrote above that Sharapova took Meldonium and hid that she was taking it. It was just one sentence, so you probably missed it.

    But it’s not the point. Scoop put it like a question of legality and justice. Legally, Sharapova is guilty. She took an illegal substance. But if it’s justice that interests us — and it should be, law has to be a conceptualization of justice — Maria is innocent: she took a product that is not proven to be a PED, the procedure to put it on the list was against the rules of WADA, and, took it or not, there was probably no way her test results would be negative.

    @Andrew Miller:

    I agree that Andy is a great player. He is no 2 in the world, he won a masters this year, and lost two slams final. But, during the FO, he had three articles by Tignor: after the early rounds, after the semi, after the tournament.

    At the same time, Djokovic did something only three men did in the history of tennis: it was mentioned in one sentence. He made the non-calendar year Grand slam. He made the career Grand slam too, and he could well be the second player, and the only one in the Open era to win five slams in a row. Just one article.

    The article about Andy is full of half truth and utter lies. Andy lately accused other players to use PEDs (the allusion was well directed and clear), while, a few years ago, he stated that anti-doping controles “were a joke”. He complained at the time about doping controls too. He changed his song when Armstrong was caught — you could say because he started to understand the spread of doping in sport, I would answer that perhaps he understood that even the greatest stars were not fully protected.

    After being a lot of years for women to play in best-of-five at slams, and against same earnings, suddenly he changed his attitude toward this question.

    Each time, he went against Djokovic, Nadal and Federer, who were fighting for the ATP and their colleagues (I don’t have time here to prove it, but if needed, I will give the links that show 1. that they said similar things, 2. that the ATP endorse their statements). It was a PR job, and he was PC to the bones.

    A quick seach on Google about “Novak Djokovic” gives you half the articles about Andy Murray, a quarter about Djokovic devious behaviour, and only a quarter about his successes.

    Before WB 2014 and 2015 the hype was about Murray, before the USO 2015, the hype was about Murray, before the FO, the hype was about Murray, the “king of clay”.

    Something there is deeply wrong, and it could be well a sign of things to come. There is a big PR campaign in his favour, and a part of the same PR campaign is directed against Novak.

    A few quotes from Steve Tignor’s text:

    — “But Murray was different. He was the only top men’s player who had hired a woman, Amelie Mauresmo, to be his coach” — it’s false. The same Mauresmo coached Llodra. Novak was coached by Jelena Gencic. And Mauresmo left because of mobbing, insults, despite the improvements she did on his movement and serve.

    “While Murray’s recent feminist turn is sincere” — really? Rather a PR move.

    — A proof of that is also the way he behaved toward most of his coaches, firing them on a whim. His behaviour at the AO, in the match against Berdych, who hired Danny Vallverdu, was shameful.

    — “he ignored the traditional code of silence among athletes about doping and went public with his suspicions.

    “I have played against players and thought, ‘They won’t go away,’ or ‘They don’t seem to be getting tired,’” Murray said. “Have I ever been suspicious of someone? Yeah, you hear things.”

    This said by a man who never tires, despite his height and weight, and fits so well in the frame of a doper.

    — “Murray has had to watch as his old rival, Djokovic, has used his methods to pass him by.”

    An utter lie. Novak had won 4 slams before Andy won his first… How did he pass Murray by.

    Etc. etc.

    When I wrote that there’s a lot of money on the table for the next tennis star, I thought of Murray. He’s a great player, no doubt, but he’s nowhere the Holly triad of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.

    But his PR team is great, and manages to make of him something he never was. I even ask myself if the “Big four” denomination wasn’t a PR trick — it’s clear now that there never was a “big four”, only a “big three”.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 9, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Or a Big Five if you add in the deserving Wawrinka – interesting honest critique of Andy there mat4 – it makes you wonder if there is a gigantic force backing Andy knowing that if Andy were to replace Djokovic at no 1 in the world he could sell an awful lot of products in the UK as opposed to Djokovic who hails from a much smaller country with limited revenue potential – The tennis powers could be maneuvering Andy to be the next flagship of the sport now that it’s pretty clear that Fed and Rafa will never again be no 1 -

  • Mat4 · June 9, 2016 at 2:55 pm


    It’s Andy’s PR agency. He is a co-owner. The boss is Simon Fuller, if I understood well.


    Andy was throwing his colleagues under the bus lately. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a hidden agenda.

    I don’t think the ATP is in this, quite the contrary.

  • Andrew Miller · June 9, 2016 at 4:19 pm

    Scoop, you and Mat4 have to be kidding me. Murray made finals of roland garros. If he didn’t have three articles I’d be shocked. It isn’t as if Tignor was writing about someone who bowed out in round 1 or the qualies, this is Murray, first time French finalist and THE ONLY PLAYER NOT NAMED DJOKOVIC TO MAKE A SLAM FINAL THIS YEAR.

    If tennis magazine is to be accused of anything, it’s sadly too much writing on U.S. men’s tennis hopes. Even if hope is all we have had since the last slam quarterfinal back in 2011, FIVE YEARS AGO. Or the last slam final with Roddick in 2009, SEVEN YEARS AGO. That’s 28 slams ago.

    Of all writers, Tignor? Really? One of the most fair writers in tennis. Who else writes on the excellence of Nalbandian as the world’s best practice player?

  • Andrew Miller · June 9, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    And what’s the holy triad outside Djoker doing? Federer is MIA. Nadal is not himself.

    There’s a big one plus challengers, of which Murray’s the top these days.

    Murray’s the only challenger to Djokovic, even if he’s not going to beat him anytime soon. Unless he gets him at Wimbledon.

  • Mat4 · June 9, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    When I think about it, it’s not so much a critic of Andy, but of the system.

    Panata said, the other day, that in the seventies, players were friends. We know that the Australians were, in the sixties. This kind of situation lasted in the eighties too, partly.

    But today, while the relations among players are far from the situation of the WTA (where Sharapova is just one among others), it’s also far from what it was.

    There is too much money at stake, I guess, and the distribution is very uneven. It changed everything.

  • Mat4 · June 9, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Andrew, this is selective reading. Nobody denied that Andy was a great player. Nobody denied that he should get attention in the media. But right now, he gets more attention than Djokovic, who achieve something not achieved in the last 47 years, and only three times in tennis history.

    And you have probably read Steve Tignor’s article. To say it is biased — would be an understatement.

  • Andrew Miller · June 9, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    Tignor has written a ton on Djokovic. He wrote a nice piece on Wawrinka’s role in the big four era as well.

    Don’t see it – I think this is much ado about nada.

  • Andrew Miller · June 9, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    And the Murray piece isn’t glowing. It’s standard Tignor – solid. It was done for the magazine, which means it is a feature story, not a web-story. Those are longer, they include more information and capture more. It’s also a profile, which does the same thing.

    Again, much ado about nada.

  • Michael · June 9, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    @mat4 “I wrote above that Sharapova took Meldonium and hid that she was taking it. It was just one sentence, so you probably missed it.”

    I didn’t miss it. I responded to your incorrect point about disclosing non-banned drugs. The rules require disclosure of all prescription/non-prescription medications or supplements, including vitamins and minerals taken with the previous 7 days.

    Reading the decision generally it is not to hard conclude that she’s lucky she didn’t get 4 years.

    WADA should consider an appeal, namely,

    (1) the concession made by the ITF in paragraph 66, and (2) the tribunal’s interpretation of the second prong of 10.2.3 discussed in paragraphs 68 – 70.

    (I’m not expert in doping cases so I don’t know if the rules permit WADA to challenge a concession made by ITF. Also I haven’t looked into the history behind drafting 10.2.3 or related post-2015 rule amendment cases interpreting it but that’s where I would start.)

    Perhaps I’m being too aggressive but the factual findings in the decision came down worse than I expected.

    Since her press conference I figured at the hearing we’ll get some reasonable explanation of how her entire team not only failed to note the banned list changes but didn’t inform her.

    What we learned instead is that she hid it from her entire team except her agent who presented a story the tribunal didn’t buy a single word of finding his testimony “remarkable,” “evident implausibility” and “unbelievable.” They gave his testimony zero weight.

    So we had actually no real explanation whatsoever.

  • Michael · June 9, 2016 at 6:50 pm

    I meant to say above “regarding” the decision generally not “reading.” What does reading a decision generally even mean ? I don’t know.

    Scoops ancient website template still doesn’t permit editing after posting unless you have admin rights.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 9, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    Not saying Tignor did that for Andy – but anything is possible – Tennis did a story on a local NJ club a few years ago which Im pretty sure was a paid for story as the owner is mega rich and is trying to promote his business and has the $ to do it – because there’s no way Tennis would have done the story without incentive – ad sales are down and magazines have been known to run paid for stories – it’s the nature of the biz – again not saying Tignor did it and Andy earned all the ink he’s gotten but so too has Djokovic for making history in Paris -

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 9, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    But mat4 we do know that good friendships do happen in tennis and some unexpected ones such as Andy murray bonding tight with Kokkinakis and Kyrgios – Kyrgios and Sock are great friends – Pico monaco and Isner – I remember Dimitrov early in his career said his best friend on tour was F Lopez but not sure if they are tight any more – Serena and Caro are best friends – Keys and Kyrgios are friendly and support each other -

  • mat4 · June 10, 2016 at 3:47 am


    My point wasn’t incorrect. Disclosing the use of Mildronate would have endangered the person who was giving it to her. Even after being caught, she avoided giving any sample, to hide where it came from.

    The legal side is irrelevant. Mildronate was put on the list because lot of Russian athletes use it, and because it doesn’t leave the body for months. Not because it is a PED — which remains unproven.

    Declare blondes to be illegal, and she would be guilty too.


    Of course. But Panata was friend with Borg, just like Vitas was. Rivals for highest titles were friends. Tournament finalists shared prizes, and often played seriously only the third set, etc.

    Now, find me a real friendship among the top ten.

    Before the AO 2011, Murray, then without a coach, worked with Novak’s team for two weeks. Novak played doubles with him that year, when he was in crisis, to help him. And suddenly, you have the accusations at the AO 2015.

    The Rafa-Novak development of 2011 is telling too.

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 10, 2016 at 7:09 am

    Paire and Wawrina are also close friends – I saw the Djokovic-murray doubles match in miami on court one and they got beat soundly – Andy was the weak link for sure -

  • Mat4 · June 10, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Pico Monaco and Rafa too, DelPo seems to be universally liked. Novak and Stan get along well, Rafa recently helped Tipsy with his injury…

    So, it seems it’s not as dark as it looked a few posts above.

    Could it be that Lendl influenced Andy? Is Andy the only exception here?

  • Scoop Malinowski · June 10, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    Delpo and Fish – Fish called Delpo one of his favorite guys in tennis – Fish got Delpo to hit with Fritz in miami and now they’re playing doubles together this week -

  • Michael · June 10, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    mat4, “The legal side is irrelevant. ”

    We have nothing to discuss.

    There are numerous websites where people will engage you on all sorts of juicy conspiracy theories. None will have diddly to do with her case but knock yourself out.



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