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When can we start to believe?

Sep 22, 2009
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Hi, have been reading CN forum for ages, but first post, so here goes. I recall this comment having been made a few times, but only in other threads and never really discussed specifically to my mind (couldn't find it in a search either). Sorry if this has already been covered somewhere and I have missed it, but I'll put it out there anyway.

My question is, "When do we start to believe cycling is clean?"

I just read the Basso thread, and for the record, I think he was doped in 06. However, I want to believe he's clean now, and to my mind, his results in the Giro and the Vuelta reflect those of a very good rider who now doesn't have that extra edge. That's not to say I 100% believe he's clean, just that his results to my mind are possible.

Same with Evans - I just re-read the thread that big boat started on him, and while my mind isn't yet made up, some of the points raised suggest that his results are maybe within the realms of possibility for a clean rider. The obvious exception was this year's tour, and whilst the cynics would say a bad dose made him sick, or that he was too scared to dope so we saw his true colours and ability, what about the argument that maybe it just shows that if you're clean, but not 100% mentally fit and things go wrong, you'll suffer???

My point is that we're all very quick to jump to the negative explanation whether it be to explain away a good performance (he's on dope) or a bad one (he took a bad dose, or is not doped like usual, or the other guys are more heavily doped etc.) It almost doesn't matter what happens, it seems like the only explanation is drugs.

This forum has opened my eyes, and made me extremely cynical of ANY performance, so what is going to take to make me believe?

This post is not about invdividuals. Even though I just used Evans and Basso as examples, I don't really want to discuss them because it has been done. But look at some other points. Once I though it would help if we get a new guard of winners coming through, and more variety of winners because it would suggest that the stranglehold of top doctors had been broken and guys can't be good 24/7/365 anymore thanks to super recovery dope - but when it happens at the Vuelta (see thread I think it was called "Unusual stat at this year's Vuelta), it still isn't enough to convince some (or me for that matter).

It is right that we question, and get suspicious when someone does something crazy good (ala Ricco and Schumacher and Kohl) but where do we draw the line, and what is it going to take to stop us reaching for the drugs explanation and start reaching for the "man he trained hard for this" or the "he's just a better cyclist than that guy" or the "he just wasn't good enough today" explanations (and actually believe them too:D)

Sorry for the long post, just wanted to get this off my chest, and BTW, this is definitely not meant to be a pro-Evans, Basso, Armstrong, or anyone else for that matter argument, it is just a question.
 
Given the history of race fixing and doping that goes back to the sport's inception, I think cycling (and a lot of other sports, for that matter) will always and forever more rank alongside pro wrestling in terms of authenticity.

Not to denigrate those who truly believe in racing clean, but for me the sport is nothing but theatre. Unless I'm watching a local criterium involving beginner racers, everything is suspect.

Cycling is a beautiful spectacle. Nothing more, nothing less.

I could be wrong, but I think there will come a day when doping scandals will be a mere footnote in sports history.

Like in pro wrestling, we'll all just sit back and enjoy the spectacle, popcorn in hand.
 
A

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Start believing right now if you want, and I don't say that flippantly. Just don't set yourself to be disappointed if more positives occur.
 
May 18, 2009
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the delgados said:
Given the history of race fixing and doping that goes back to the sport's inception, I think cycling (and a lot of other sports, for that matter) will always and forever more rank alongside pro wrestling in terms of authenticity.

Not to denigrate those who truly believe in racing clean, but for me the sport is nothing but theatre. Unless I'm watching a local criterium involving beginner racers, everything is suspect.

Cycling is a beautiful spectacle. Nothing more, nothing less.

I could be wrong, but I think there will come a day when doping scandals will be a mere footnote in sports history.

Like in pro wrestling, we'll all just sit back and enjoy the spectacle, popcorn in hand.

Are you really stating cycling is along the same lines as the WWE freaks? You think American pro football for example is a cleaner sport than cycling?
 

Dr. Maserati

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Willow22 said:
Hi, have been reading CN forum for ages, but first post, so here goes. .....

My question is, "When do we start to believe cycling is clean?"

Great question - and one I have been asking myself too.

I mentioned this on another thread - a massive problem within Pro Cycling now is that the confidence and trust of many cycling fans has all been eroded by the many scandals that have hit the sport.

The Biological Passport was hailed as the test to sort out cycling's problems.
Unfortunately - in its present format the Passport is being used to protect Pro Cycling's image and to show the world it is serious in their anti-doping efforts.

But since the beginning of the year we still have many riders getting caught using CERA or EPO - who appear to have evaded the Bio-Passport.

As someone else mentioned on another thread - this does a disservice to the many clean riders who attain good results as immediately their performance is deemed suspicious.

With what Pat McQuaid has stated recently about no further positives in future Tours then the solutions to these problems will not come from the UCI - nor from the riders as the Omerta still holds strong.

Again - as we have seen in the past it will take another Police or State investigation to expose the realities that goes on with some riders - this will highlight again the inadequacies of those in charge of our Sport. The only question remains will there be any credibility left for people to invest their time or money in.
 
Sep 22, 2009
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Thanks TFF, I get what you're saying, and I do believe that things are getting cleaner, but as per your recommendation, i'm not going to let myself get sucked in again like with vino (i really started to have respect for that guy, then bam! positive:mad:) And like the Doc said, I thought the Biol passport would help too, but it seems that can be circumvented (see Kohl's comments, although I don't know if he was as smart as he thought he was, after all, he got caught).

But really, what I was talking about wasn't so much the drug tests (like others, and for all the reasons already discussed on this forum) i don't believe an absence of positive tests will constitute proof that doping is gone; it is more a case of what sort of racing will we see and what sort of results will it take in order to make us think that things are getting better. Slower avg. speeds in the peloton??? more consistent speeds, or more random variations in speed as daily conditions have more effect??? The better riders showing they are better on a more consistent basis because guys can't jack themselves up for one great day, or more different winners cause it just isn't possible to be that good every day.

I don't know, and that's why i wanted to ask more experienced guys what clean racing looks like.
 
Aug 12, 2009
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Willow22 said:
Hi, have been reading CN forum for ages, but first post, so here goes. I recall this comment having been made a few times, but only in other threads and never really discussed specifically to my mind (couldn't find it in a search either). Sorry if this has already been covered somewhere and I have missed it, but I'll put it out there anyway.

My question is, "When do we start to believe cycling is clean?"

Whenever you want to. Just don't stop questioning. It's in the UCI's interests to have the public in a frame of mind where their perception is that the pro's are riding clean. There is no proviso stating that they have to move heaven and earth to deliver such a reality.

I just read the Basso thread, and for the record, I think he was doped in 06. However, I want to believe he's clean now, and to my mind, his results in the Giro and the Vuelta reflect those of a very good rider who now doesn't have that extra edge. That's not to say I 100% believe he's clean, just that his results to my mind are possible.

Same with Evans - I just re-read the thread that big boat started on him, and while my mind isn't yet made up, some of the points raised suggest that his results are maybe within the realms of possibility for a clean rider. The obvious exception was this year's tour, and whilst the cynics would say a bad dose made him sick, or that he was too scared to dope so we saw his true colours and ability, what about the argument that maybe it just shows that if you're clean, but not 100% mentally fit and things go wrong, you'll suffer???

Just yesterday I was reviewing the last few Giro's back to 2005. Sella and Ricco whacked Contador sideways last year in the hills. Pellizotti did as well in the second ITT. Fast forward a few months, both busted for Cera. This year on Verbier in the TdF a number of sceptics questioned Contador's climbing. But a year before he was in trouble. Are all attacking riders dirty when scenarios such as this unfold? Not necessarily.

My point is that we're all very quick to jump to the negative explanation whether it be to explain away a good performance (he's on dope) or a bad one (he took a bad dose, or is not doped like usual, or the other guys are more heavily doped etc.) It almost doesn't matter what happens, it seems like the only explanation is drugs.

This forum has opened my eyes, and made me extremely cynical of ANY performance, so what is going to take to make me believe?

A good memory and the cumulative weight of the relative performances of all cyclists throughout the respective years will make you believe. Believe what in particular...that's up to you. Schumacher, Kohl, Ricco, Peipoli were all obvious dopers. Kohl was an ugly rider who years before was crap. So was Ricco...those who doubt this go back and watch the 2006 Tour, he was there and I saw a fleeting glance of him in a breakaway, along with Kohl in the mountains. They weren't very good. Fast forward two years and they are light years ahead. I only noticed this through revision, watching a DVD for a reflection of how Floyd rode...didn't think I'd spot two of his ilk before they were caught. Heck I didn't think they'd ridden the tour in 2006.

Once I though it would help if we get a new guard of winners coming through, and more variety of winners because it would suggest that the stranglehold of top doctors had been broken and guys can't be good 24/7/365 anymore thanks to super recovery dope - but when it happens at the Vuelta (see thread I think it was called "Unusual stat at this year's Vuelta), it still isn't enough to convince some (or me for that matter).

I personally don't get the whining about Valverde winning. It's been a foregone conclusion for quite a while. He deserved the win because the field was a lot more level (no AC, Sastre, Menchov). He is a very consistent rider. Post 2006 he's arguably the best all round rider in the pro peleton. Does a blood bag from pre 2006 affect his performance on a physiological level at this years Vuelta? No. Does he have an advantage most posters in the clinic assume others also have? No. So based on what knowledge there is, Alejandro won fairly. Not definitely cleanly per se but no less than the other GC boys.

[/QUOTE]It is right that we question, and get suspicious when someone does something crazy good (ala Ricco and Schumacher and Kohl) but where do we draw the line, and what is it going to take to stop us reaching for the drugs explanation and start reaching for the "man he trained hard for this" or the "he's just a better cyclist than that guy" or the "he just wasn't good enough today" explanations (and actually believe them too:D)[/QUOTE]

Good question. Perhaps no more PR bull$h!t from the UCI and riders/teams. McQuaid being removed. The AFLD and LNDD in charge of all drug testing at the tour. Patrice Clerc back and working with Pound, two men who have been strongly anti-doping for a large amount of time. Plus an end to half-truths and misleading stances regarding the blood passport and caught dopers who become vocal, ie: support/investigation for statements from guys like Kohl. When riders release blood values for some PR that raise eyebrows...it only fuels the scepticism. Perhaps riders looking tired at the end of three weeks...but that seems too obvious.
 
Jun 9, 2009
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Professional sport will never be 100% clean. Any time you get the male competitive ego, large amounts of prize money, advances in the science of doping, and sport together ... there will be cheating.

I applaud the efforts of the governing bodies of sport to try to limit cheating. They are handed a difficult job and, for the most part, perform their duties well.

As far as professional wrestling is concerned, I hope the statements made in this thread by other posters are sarcastic. In the WWE, there is no prize money. The theatre that is the WWE is just that, an act. Pro wrestlers do not vie for prize money, contracts with better teams, or positions on their nation's olympic squads. The WWE is a show based on athletic performance.

Pro cycling is a sport rooted in deep tradition, improvement of the individuals as athletes, and generation of revenue for the sponsors. Pro cyclists deserve tremendous credit for their dedication to the sport, their innate physiological brilliance, and their willingness to perform their job in the face of tremendous scrutiny.
 
i have to agree with most of the previous posts, in that humans are bound
and determined to go faster, no matter what. prize money has something to
do with that, but what else? it seems to me that it is just our nature. and if you
were a visitor from another planet, would you consider PED's wrong?
darwin was right. survival of the fittest in full effect.:cool:
 
Jul 6, 2009
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i agree with suros comments. doped or not the effort and risk are there be it wwe or cycling. they all train hard go through injuries mental doubt etc... if all were doped it would be equal if all were clean it would be equal either way takes equal effort your just faster or stronger on drugs. the only problem is some are clean some are doped which is unfair for the clean riders. if you watch pro sports and dont understand doping then you are not a very competitive person at least not at the pro level and probably have not raced much at all. i remember a study where olympic level athletes were asked if they would take a substance that would promise multiple championships for five years but would then kill them in ten 80% said they would take it anyway. that is what mentality your dealing with pro level athletes so if that is upsetting dont watch find another activity/hobby.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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Cycing has taken a lot of shots for being 'the' dirty sport, when all sports are dirty. Football, soccer, baseball, athletics, no doubt even my beloved hockey. Any time there are millions on the line and a benefit to being faster, stronger, or better able to recover. The difference is that cycling has caught many of its cheaters, and organized doping efforts have been uncovered. The UCI is getting tired of the being the only sport to receive such bad press, so maybe we're starting to see some cover ups from above.

I think we're going to have to wait for the big one. A top level cheater who spills his guts. A Hamilton, Ullrich, or Landis. Someone who would get the attention of the world's press, and launch investigations from the various nations. I fear that only an investigation that could bring down riders, directors, team officials, doctors, and people within the UCI could clean up the sport. In other words, clean house. In other words, don't hold your breath. There is plenty of hush money to go around.
 
watching a recap of this years Giro. that was a fun race to watch day in day out. Di Luca made that race fun to watch. too bad about that positive for CERA.
you just felt he was charged up on something. still, he rode like his pants were on fire. as a competitor i might be angry, as a fan i like it. so many questions.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Firstly - I don't understand the idea that if a rider has a bad day they must have mixed up their doses.

If you take blood boosters - they transformed the way GT's were raced.
If you check through the Tours of the 80's - before EPO - you will see the 'true' pattern.
In 87 Roche lost time on Alpe d'Heuz, and would have lost time again at LA Plagne if Delgado had not attacked so early - yet he still won the Tour.

Now we know riders were using PEDs during this time - mainly amphetamines and cortisones- but during the EPO fueled 90's we suddenly had riders able to attack and ride consistently day after day.

Pro Cycling has evolved since the 80's but for a more believable spectacle expect riders to have an occasional off day - a sans jour - and a smaller group contesting mountain stages.

In races like the classics - again small groups in contention - particularly LBL, Flanders and Roubaix.

The bio-Passport has made it impossible to do the all out boosting that was evident in the 90's- which is why the recent Vuelta had a core of riders left at the top of the final climbs.

No - the sport, as with any sport can never be 100% clean - however the controls can be tightened a lot more to allow clean riders the opportunity to participate and win too.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Galic Ho said:
Whenever you want to. Just don't stop questioning. It's in the UCI's interests to have the public in a frame of mind where their perception is that the pro's are riding clean. There is no proviso stating that they have to move heaven and earth to deliver such a reality.



Just yesterday I was reviewing the last few Giro's back to 2005. Sella and Ricco whacked Contador sideways last year in the hills. Pellizotti did as well in the second ITT. Fast forward a few months, both busted for Cera. This year on Verbier in the TdF a number of sceptics questioned Contador's climbing. But a year before he was in trouble. Are all attacking riders dirty when scenarios such as this unfold? Not necessarily.



A good memory and the cumulative weight of the relative performances of all cyclists throughout the respective years will make you believe. Believe what in particular...that's up to you. Schumacher, Kohl, Ricco, Peipoli were all obvious dopers. Kohl was an ugly rider who years before was crap. So was Ricco...those who doubt this go back and watch the 2006 Tour, he was there and I saw a fleeting glance of him in a breakaway, along with Kohl in the mountains. They weren't very good. Fast forward two years and they are light years ahead. I only noticed this through revision, watching a DVD for a reflection of how Floyd rode...didn't think I'd spot two of his ilk before they were caught. Heck I didn't think they'd ridden the tour in 2006.



I personally don't get the whining about Valverde winning. It's been a foregone conclusion for quite a while. He deserved the win because the field was a lot more level (no AC, Sastre, Menchov). He is a very consistent rider. Post 2006 he's arguably the best all round rider in the pro peleton. Does a blood bag from pre 2006 affect his performance on a physiological level at this years Vuelta? No. Does he have an advantage most posters in the clinic assume others also have? No. So based on what knowledge there is, Alejandro won fairly. Not definitely cleanly per se but no less than the other GC boys.
It is right that we question, and get suspicious when someone does something crazy good (ala Ricco and Schumacher and Kohl) but where do we draw the line, and what is it going to take to stop us reaching for the drugs explanation and start reaching for the "man he trained hard for this" or the "he's just a better cyclist than that guy" or the "he just wasn't good enough today" explanations (and actually believe them too:D)[/QUOTE]

Good question. Perhaps no more PR bull$h!t from the UCI and riders/teams. McQuaid being removed. The AFLD and LNDD in charge of all drug testing at the tour. Patrice Clerc back and working with Pound, two men who have been strongly anti-doping for a large amount of time. Plus an end to half-truths and misleading stances regarding the blood passport and caught dopers who become vocal, ie: support/investigation for statements from guys like Kohl. When riders release blood values for some PR that raise eyebrows...it only fuels the scepticism. Perhaps riders looking tired at the end of three weeks...but that seems too obvious.[/QUOTE]

Gallic, Ricco had a pretty impressive palmares. Don't conflate mediocre Tour de France performances, with a rider's talent. The Italians have different objectives, not July in France. Ricco did show great talent in the espoirs, Ardennes, and the Giro.

Also Kohl did more than any Garmin rider had done prior to their time with Garmin, with his 2006 Dauphine ride. He was second on GC I think.
 
ChrisE said:
You think American pro football for example is a cleaner sport than cycling?

Yes...from a certain perspective. In football there may be just as much dope used as cycling, maybe even more, but I tend to think that the end results of games approximate what would have occurred without doping. That is the ultimate test of what is "clean". It does not really matter if every single player is juicing with fifteen different designer steroids during the weekday and is spending the weekends clubbing under the influence of X. If what the fans see is a close approximation of what would have occurred if all the players were devout Mormons who listen to the Osmonds then the fans are seeing a real sporting contest.

Cycling is a cesspool. It is not just the drugs. It is the riders and teams making deals between themselves, the organizers fixing races, and the governing body blackballing some riders while excusing others for committing the same transgressions. The pro side of the sport is corrupt from the top to the bottom. Nothing that is seen can be trusted to be real.

There cannot be any trust in cycling as long as the UCI stays as it is. It is fantasy to think that a clean sport can exist under corrupt leadership. Since McQuaid will be around for at least the next four years, I do not see any hope.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Galic Ho said:
Just yesterday I was reviewing the last few Giro's back to 2005. Sella and Ricco whacked Contador sideways last year in the hills. Pellizotti did as well in the second ITT. Fast forward a few months, both busted for Cera. This year on Verbier in the TdF a number of sceptics questioned Contador's climbing. But a year before he was in trouble. Are all attacking riders dirty when scenarios such as this unfold? Not necessarily.

A good memory and the cumulative weight of the relative performances of all cyclists throughout the respective years will make you believe. Believe what in particular...that's up to you. Schumacher, Kohl, Ricco, Peipoli were all obvious dopers. Kohl was an ugly rider who years before was crap. So was Ricco...those who doubt this go back and watch the 2006 Tour, he was there and I saw a fleeting glance of him in a breakaway, along with Kohl in the mountains. They weren't very good. Fast forward two years and they are light years ahead. I only noticed this through revision, watching a DVD for a reflection of how Floyd rode...didn't think I'd spot two of his ilk before they were caught. Heck I didn't think they'd ridden the tour in 2006.

I personally don't get the whining about Valverde winning. It's been a foregone conclusion for quite a while. He deserved the win because the field was a lot more level (no AC, Sastre, Menchov). He is a very consistent rider. Post 2006 he's arguably the best all round rider in the pro peleton. Does a blood bag from pre 2006 affect his performance on a physiological level at this years Vuelta? No. Does he have an advantage most posters in the clinic assume others also have? No. So based on what knowledge there is, Alejandro won fairly. Not definitely cleanly per se but no less than the other GC boys.

Contador didn't have great form in last years Giro coming in, that's why he got whacked by ricco and sella. I wouldn't say all attacking riders are dirty but many people observe some skeltons which have been left un touched in Bertie's closet.

I don't see why people shouldn't whine about Valverde though it's the uci''s fault for not banning him, not Alejandro's.

With kohl i don't think he has doped all his life or since 19. He had a dramatic improvement at the tour last year. i think he just said he had and made claims about all the gc guys being doped because he got caught and the others he thought were cheating hadn't got caught. Sour grapes by kohl.
 
Aug 12, 2009
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auscyclefan94 said:
Contador didn't have great form in last years Giro coming in, that's why he got whacked by ricco and sella. I wouldn't say all attacking riders are dirty but many people observe some skeltons which have been left un touched in Bertie's closet.

I don't see why people shouldn't whine about Valverde though it's the uci''s fault for not banning him, not Alejandro's.

I don't know how fit you are but if you are your very best physically a week or two off won't do too much to your ability to perform. I know Contador was out of form but rode into it, yet he still couldn't touch Sella and Ricco on some of the hills in the third week.

The whining part is just a waste of time. There is a lot of crying going on at the SBS cyclingcentral site. As I said it was inevitable this was going to happen. Crying over spilt milk. Valverde will keep his Vuelta. Basso kept his Giro, enough said there. Don't think I am suggesting people can't be peeved, they have every right, but it is fruitless. The man is a quality entertainer regardless.

With kohl i don't think he has doped all his life or since 19. He had a dramatic improvement at the tour last year. i think he just said he had and made claims about all the gc guys being doped because he got caught and the others he thought were cheating hadn't got caught. Sour grapes by kohl.

I don't understand your first sentence. Are you implying Kohl has only doped for a certain period and not since he was 19 years of age? He had some pretty strong claims regarding Rasmussen and sharing equipment. He seems to be able to implicate a ring of at least 20 riders sharing knowledge/products. That almost totally rules out sour grapes. I have yet to hear him say this sucks...he seems to be casual enough in his stance and language to partially validate listening and then asking further questions to his confessions. His tone is too casual to indicate a vindictive nature.

To Blackcat. My claim about Ricco and Kohl was that more or less prior to 2008, they had both been quieter whilst in race mode. Yeah they had some good performances. Where they clean then? I don't think so in Kohl's case. His talks about buying equipment with Rasmussen and sharing a flat for doping...indicate pre July 2007 doping. I think he just got a bit better at it. Also the CERA explains some of the sudden boosts both boys had. EPO works! If they had the ability in 2006 they'd have shown more progressive and aggressive riding...they couldn't. A style and form they had no such difficulty in displaying during 2008 at both the Giro and Tour.
 
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Galic Ho said:
I don't know how fit you are but if you are your very best physically a week or two off won't do too much to your ability to perform. I know Contador was out of form but rode into it, yet he still couldn't touch Sella and Ricco on some of the hills in the third week.

The whining part is just a waste of time. There is a lot of crying going on at the SBS cyclingcentral site. As I said it was inevitable this was going to happen. Crying over spilt milk. Valverde will keep his Vuelta. Basso kept his Giro, enough said there. Don't think I am suggesting people can't be peeved, they have every right, but it is fruitless. The man is a quality entertainer regardless.

I don't understand your first sentence. Are you implying Kohl has only doped for a certain period and not since he was 19 years of age? He had some pretty strong claims regarding Rasmussen and sharing equipment. He seems to be able to implicate a ring of at least 20 riders sharing knowledge/products. That almost totally rules out sour grapes. I have yet to hear him say this sucks...he seems to be casual enough in his stance and language to partially validate listening and then asking further questions to his confessions. His tone is too casual to indicate a vindictive nature.

kohl claimed that all the other gc riders were doped up. He only made all these claims after he tested positive. He obviously feels picked on as he tested positive for doping and the others didn't. that's sour grapes.
 

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