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Fri Jun 29, 2012, 08:43 PM

 

Anti-Doping Agency charges Lance Armstrong

Source: CNN

By the CNN Wire Staff
June 29, 2012

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said Friday that it has filed doping charges against champion cyclist Lance Armstrong.

This month, the agency announced that it was opening proceedings against Armstrong and five former teammates.

"USADA can confirm that the independent three person Anti-Doping Review Board (ADRB) has conducted a full evaluation and has made a unanimous recommendation to move forward with the adjudication process in accordance with the rules," it said in a statement.

If Armstrong and the others choose, the case will move next to an arbitration panel, where "all evidence would be presented, witness testimony would be given under oath, and an independent group of arbitrators would ultimately decide the outcome of the case," the agency said.

Read more: http://us.cnn.com/2012/06/29/sport/armstrong-doping-allegations/index.html?c=homepage-t

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Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply Anti-Doping Agency charges Lance Armstrong (Original post)
UnrepentantLiberal Jun 2012 OP
russspeakeasy Jun 2012 #1
Ken Burch Jun 2012 #3
bahrbearian Jun 2012 #27
Ken Burch Jun 2012 #2
Grassy Knoll Jun 2012 #4
UnrepentantLiberal Jun 2012 #5
rocktivity Jun 2012 #6
joshcryer Jun 2012 #9
boppers Jun 2012 #7
Ken Burch Jun 2012 #8
joshcryer Jun 2012 #10
Ken Burch Jun 2012 #12
joshcryer Jun 2012 #13
Ken Burch Jun 2012 #14
joshcryer Jun 2012 #15
obamanut2012 Jun 2012 #22
joshcryer Jun 2012 #11
DanTex Jun 2012 #16
demwing Jun 2012 #17
DanTex Jun 2012 #18
demwing Jun 2012 #19
demwing Jun 2012 #20
DanTex Jun 2012 #21
demwing Jun 2012 #23
DanTex Jun 2012 #25
demwing Jun 2012 #26
Ken Burch Jun 2012 #24

Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 08:48 PM

1. Good. I wouldn't care except for his holier than thou attitude.

Charge him with being a pompous ass while you're at it.

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Response to russspeakeasy (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 09:58 PM

3. Can they charge him for excessively asskissing Dubya?

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #3)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 04:26 PM

27. Dubya beat Armstrong in that cyclying race in Texas Far and Square

At the Finish line it was close

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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Original post)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 09:57 PM

2. I'm not a Lance Armstrong fan(he lost me when he treated Sheryl Crow like dogshit)

but the question remains...he was doping, how come he never ever failed a drug test?

Never heard a good explanation of THAT from anybody.

Also, the guy's basically retired, so what's the point of going after him now? Is this about appeasing the French cycling authorities who basically couldn't handle it that a Yank kept winning the Tour?

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 10:09 PM

4. True That.....

I'm surprised not a lot of people here don't have his back.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #2)

Fri Jun 29, 2012, 10:18 PM

5. He didn't fail a "drug test" because the whole system was corrupt.

 





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Response to UnrepentantLiberal (Reply #5)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 12:51 AM

6. I'd be willing to give Hamilton more credibility points

If he'd reported what he seen when he saw it instead of a decade later, and hadn't been looking for a book deal at time of the interview:

Tyler Hamilton turned over his 2004 cycling gold medal to the United States Anti-Doping Agency...putting Russian Viatcheslav Ekimov in line for an upgrade from silver.

...Hamilton said that he saw Armstrong use performance-enhancing drugs, including the banned blood-booster erythropoietin, in 1999 and two subsequent seasons to help prepare for the Tour de France...

Hamilton...retired in April 2009 after announcing he had knowingly committed a second doping offense...
link



rocktivity

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Response to rocktivity (Reply #6)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 03:25 AM

9. I would agree with you, in general, if it was just Hamilton. But several other witnesses...

...have come forward. I don't think they would've went ahead with the charges without the other witnesses.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 01:26 AM

7. Because he wasn't taking drugs that aren't normal to have, as I understand it.

It's not about drugs, it's about doping.

Those are different things.

I will assume, for the sake of this explanation, that you know that:
A) Human bodies create testosterone
B) Injecting yourself with testosterone is considered cheating.

So, if you drew a pint of blood every month, and refined it to get the best ingredients (testosterone, red blood cells, whatever) over a year, and then put it back into yourself, it's still everything that your body made, no external drugs, nothing that would show up on a drug test... but it's still doping.

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Response to boppers (Reply #7)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 03:09 AM

8. I don't know enough about competitive cycling to be able to answer these next questions myself

But perhaps you or somebody else who's "in the know" could help me here...

What is it, exactly, about Lance Armstrong's cycling career that has aroused such suspicion?

What is it that he's done that some people are so certain that he couldn't simply have done by just putting in an honest effort?

Is the assumption that it's simply not possible, for example, for a person to have won that many Tours De France by honorable means? If so, why?

I'm not trying to fight the guy's corner or anything...I just don't know what it is about Armstrong that raises so many red flags with some folks about his achievements as a cyclist.

What sort of things, to be precise, are going to set off the "Spidey sense" of cycling officials and cycling fans?

Also, if he had an unnaturally high concentration of steroids in his system, wouldn't we have seen Armnstrong displaying Barry Bonds-style 'roid rage?

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #8)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 03:32 AM

10. From what I gather the invesgitation has been on going for awhile.

I think that the blood doping approach is the hardest of them all to detect, since it really is the bodies own metabolism, particularly because apparently Armstrong's blood doping was so on going that he eventually had an equal part of old and new blood cells (making it very difficult to distinguish between the two; a sort of biological plausible deniablity, maybe his body really did take awhile to produce new blood cells, etc).

I think that with the book deal and with the witnesses they finally had enough to go on, which is why they've filed charges now. It seems that even with this ongoing transfusion approach you can still be caught, and a part of the case is that ultimately his blood samples aren't consistent as one might expect.

For what it's worth Armstrong isn't the only one being charged, it's the whole top tier team, since it would've required them all to be in the know for it to happen.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #10)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 04:35 AM

12. Then what is it about the performance of the "top tier"that would have aroused suspicion?

Last edited Sat Jun 30, 2012, 05:25 AM - Edit history (1)

Do the U.S. cycling officials think we shouldn't HAVE any "top tier" cyclists?

This had to have happened because somebody thought these guys managed to do stuff they shouldn't have been ABLE to do...but what, exactly, would that have been?

Nobody would have started an investigation if these guys sucked.

I guess the real question is...if these guys all get anathemized...will we ever have any competitive cyclists again? Won't it pretty much be the end for cycling in the U.S.(other than just the kind you do around town and stuff)?

Look at how much baseball has declined in the last few years.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #12)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 07:05 AM

13. By top tier I mean Armstrong's inner circle.

A bunch of people working for him are also under scrutiny and being charged. They couldn't charge Armstrong without showing a conspiracy, as far as I understand.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #13)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 07:26 AM

14. Oh. I thought you meant all the top cyclists. Sorry.

n/t.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #14)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 07:33 AM

15. Here's the AP story that talks about the charges for the others:

http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/sports/international-141967-austin-usada.html

Also charged are team doctors Pedro Celaya Lezama and Luis Garcia del Moral; team trainer Pepe Marti, and consulting doctor Michele Ferrari. Because they are so closely linked, USADA rolled all of the charges into a single case.


I think the USADA might have a solid case here. It doesn't really seem like a he-said-she-said thing as in the case of Roger Clemens. Could be wrong though.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #8)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 01:22 PM

22. His birth certificate

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Response to boppers (Reply #7)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 03:37 AM

11. The blood trick is purely about oxygen carrying capacity.

You are exhausted after a 50 mile run, you pull over, inject fresh blood, and pow, you now have millions of new blood cells to drive you further, without requiring as much effort.

This can be detected because a blood sample taken at the end of a run will tell if you have old blood cells now injected into your body, however, if, as the allegations say, Armstrong was doping strategically, so that half of his blood cells were old blood cells, then it's going to be really hard to make the argument that X amount of blood cells were doped during a race. The newly injected, old blood cells, aren't going to show up so easily!

Quite clever if this pans out. Apparently there are quite a few witnesses.

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Response to Ken Burch (Reply #2)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 08:17 AM

16. There is basically no doubt that Lance was doping.

The short answer to your question is that the testing is not even close to foolproof. Armstrong is far from the only doper to never test positive. 1996 Tour de France winner Bjarne Riis never got caught, but later admitted that he had been doping for five years. Sprinter Marion Jones never tested positive. Jan Ullrich never tested positive, but was later implicated in the Operacion Puerto doping case. And even people who did finally get caught, like Floyd Landis or Tyler Hamilton, only got caught after years of successfully beating the tests.

The unfortunate truth is that, while testing positive is very strong evidence of doping, but not testing positive basically proves nothing. Probably the single best piece of evidence against Armstrong is that he won seven TdFs at a time when doping was rampant. The story sometimes peddled about doping is that it is a "short-cut" for people who don't want to work hard. This is not even close to the truth. The best cyclists train incredibly hard and also take PEDs -- in fact, one of the benefits of doping is that it allows you to train harder and recover faster. And PEDs don't just give you a small boost in performance, they give you a huge boost in performance. So it is almost out of the question that anyone who finished in the top five or even top ten of the TdF while Lance was competing was entirely clean. Much less a guy who rose from being a good but unremarkable rider before cancer to a seven-time winner, who repeatedly defeated Jan Ullrich, who is not only a biological freak of nature but was also doped up at the time.

Also, it is not quite true that he never failed a drug test. For example, once he tested positive for corticosteroid, but then, according to his masseuse, he had a doctor backdate a prescription for a certain cream in order to get a medical exemption. Then there was the EPO incident. EPO is a substance which causes the body to produce more red blood cells, and for a long time it was widely used by cyclists (and other athletes) and there was no effective test for it. When they developed a test, they went back and tested a bunch of "B" urine samples from the 1999 Tour de France, just for research purposes. A reporter managed to get hold of the results, and it turns out that several of Armstrong's samples tested positive for EPO. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/magazine/05/23/lance.armstrong/index.html

And then there is corruption -- according to Tyler Hamilton, Armstrong tested positive for EPO in the 2001 tour of Switzerland but he talked to the UCI and got the positive test to "go away". Nobody knows the exact details of how (or whether this actually happened), but it is a fact that Armstrong has made two donations to the UCI in his career for a total of $125,000, and for the UCI to accept money from Lance Armstrong is a monumental conflict of interest.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/cycling/8530063/Lance-Armstrong-denies-claims-as-Tyler-Hamilton-alleges-seven-time-Tour-de-France-winner-tested-positive-in-2001.html
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/mcquaid-reveals-armstrong-made-two-donations-to-the-uci

It is true, though, that Armstrong officially never got caught for doping. But like I said, there are a lot of people who everyone knows doped, some of whom have admitted it, who went a whole career without getting caught. There is an arms race of sorts between dopers and testers, and the most sophisticated dopers (including Armstrong) manage to stay ahead of the testers. For example, even after EPO became banned, there was still blood doping to increase your red blood cell count -- this is where receive an actual blood transfusion during a race. In fact, this is how Tyler Hamilton got busted, when they came out with a test that could detected foreign blood cells in the blood. Of course, AFAIK, they still can't test for "autologous" blood doping -- this is where you extract blood from your own body, allow your body to regenerate the blood cells, and then re-insert your own preserved blood back during a race. Someday, I imagine, they'll be able to test for that, but the dopers will have figured some other thing out by then.


As far as why they are going after Lance. This is because, on paper, he is one of the greatest cyclists of all time, but in reality, he is a fraud. Although it is true that many if not most professional cyclists use performing enhancing drugs, Lance was known not just as an avid doper, but also as an enforcer of the "omerta" -- the code of silence in the sport of cycling with regards to doping.

One incident that rubbed a lot of people the wrong way was when Armstrong chased down another cyclist named Filippo Simeoni. The basic story is that Simeoni was part of a six-person break that included no first-tier riders. Typically, the etiquette here would be to let the break go, and give the non-name riders a chance for glory by winning one stage. Since none of the riders were a threat to win the overall race, there was no need to worry about the time lost. Anyway, basically what happened is that Armstrong chased the break down and told the riders he would only let them go if Simeoni dropped back into the main pack. And this was revenge for the fact that Simeoni had testified against a doctor named Michele Ferrari for being involved in doping -- not coincidentally, Armstrong has worked extensively with Ferrari during his career.
http://www.bicycling.com/news/pro-cycling/armstrong-hunts-down-rider

Finally, it's not because the French don't like an American winning the tour. It may be true that the French don't like Lance, but Greg Lemond won the tour three times before Lance. The real issue is simply that the man who, on paper, won the tour more times than anyone else is a fraud. And not just a small fraud, an enormous fraud. In contrast to his off-bike persona, where he claims it's all about cancer and would never cheat or put any drugs in his body, in cycling he is a serial doper, and not a reluctant one, but an enthusiastic one. It's also important because doping in sports is a bad thing -- it makes it impossible for riders to want to ride clean, or even "mostly" clean, to compete at the highest levels, and it forces athletes to engage in practices that are potentially harmful just in order to remain competitive.

In the grand scheme of things, I suppose, the integrity of cycling doesn't really matter that much. It would be nice if bike races were about athletic competition, and not about who has more sophisticated doping protocols and better "sports doctors". But compared to something like getting universal health care, this is really not a big deal, and it only affects a small number of people.

Still, if you are intersted, I would recommend reading "From Lance to Landis" by journalist David Walsh. It's a pretty enlightening read, and it pains a pretty stark picture of the doping situation in cycling, and also presents some pretty damning evidence agains Lance -- and this was even before Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton publicly accused Armstrong.
http://www.amazon.com/From-Lance-Landis-American-Controversy/dp/034549962X

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Response to DanTex (Reply #16)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 09:34 AM

17. This isn't corruption

"And then there is corruption -- according to Tyler Hamilton, Armstrong tested positive for EPO in the 2001 tour of Switzerland but he talked to the UCI and got the positive test to "go away". Nobody knows the exact details of how (or whether this actually happened), but it is a fact that Armstrong has made two donations to the UCI in his career for a total of $125,000, and for the UCI to accept money from Lance Armstrong is a monumental conflict of interest.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/cycling/8530063/Lance-Armstrong-denies-claims-as-Tyler-Hamilton-alleges-seven-time-Tour-de-France-winner-tested-positive-in-2001.html
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/mcquaid-reveals-armstrong-made-two-donations-to-the-uci "


It's a hearsay rumor.

No proof (even your post admits that) but you still use it as "evidence."

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Response to demwing (Reply #17)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 10:21 AM

18. True, there is no definitive proof in this incident.

It is possible that Tyler Hamilton is lying and that Lance really just donated $125,000 to the governing body of cycling because he is a generous guy. But the fact that there is no proof doesn't mean it's not evidence. There is no single smoking gun against Lance Armstrong. Instead, there is a pretty large body of circumstantial evidence, which, considered jointly, in my opinion, is overwhelming.

Like I said, to me perhaps the most important piece of evidence is that he dominated the sport during a time when doping was rampant. The idea that if you really work hard, you don't need to use PEDs is simply a myth. What the top riders do is both work incredibly hard and also use PEDs. Doping makes an enormous difference, and it is basically impossible to beat a field of doped world-class riders without doping yourself.

Here is a discussion on how helpful EPO is in cycling and other endurance sports.
http://www.sportsscientists.com/2007/11/effect-of-epo-on-performance-who.html
So can you win clean? As much as I'd like to think so, when you have this situation where a guy finishing in the top 10 is using drugs and being beaten by minutes on a mountain climb, I find it difficult to believe that physiologically, the margins can be that large. I believe that the NATURAL, physiological difference between riders is tiny - maybe 1% separates a champion from tenth place. So take a drug that improves performance by, let's be conservative and say 5%, and that mid-packer still can't win the race, then you have to wonder about the guy who is winning...?

This study clearly shows that EPO works. I'd extend that to say that any practice that increases the body's ability to carry O2 will work - so the same goes for blood doping. If they work, and work by the sort of margins we seem to be talking here - tens of percent, then can one gifted, unique individual dominate the sport? I think not.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #18)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 12:15 PM

19. Maybe, just maybe, Armstrong defeated cancer

because he found something within himself that gave him strength to overcome even the greatest of limitations, and used that strength to defeat his opponents as well.

Maybe Lance Armstrong is another kind of "freak of nature" - a genius of physical, mental, and emotional perseverance.

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Response to demwing (Reply #19)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 12:21 PM

20. Further, even if Armstrong is guilty

I think the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency should back the hell off.

Armstrong is an icon to cancer patents, an example of what you can do if you refuse to give up.

Any gains achieved by the Anti-Doping Agency, any wrongs righted in this pursuit, would not balance the loss of such an important example of hope, especially to children who fight cancer, and whose lives often depend on hope.

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Response to demwing (Reply #20)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 01:16 PM

21. So it doesn't matter that Armstrong is a fraud?

I can appreciate that "don't tell the kids there's no Santa Clause" aspect of this -- I'm sure he has been an inspiration to many people. But I just don't think that perpetrating lies is a good thing to do. The fact of the matter is that he has lied to millions of people, claiming that his inner strength led him to defeat cancer and win the TdF seven times, whereas in reality, he won the TdF seven times by repeatedly and systematically using performance enhancing drugs.

If Armstrong continues to be recognized as a great champion, the message to aspiring cyclists (and athletes of all kinds, really), is that the way to win is to cheat. That even if you are not the best, if you systematically take PEDs you can be hailed as a champion and a hero. And, on the contrary, if you really are a great cyclist, and you really do want to compete cleanly, you have no hope of winning unless you compromise your integrity and your health by doping. Oh, and don't bother trying to speak out or make a stand against doping because someone like Lance Armstrong is going to retaliate and bully you around for violating the "omerta".

Here is a copy of the letter the USADA sent out to Armstrong and Company. It's worth reading the allegations. According to the letter "numerous riders, team personnel, and others will testify based on personal knowledge" that Lance Armstrong used EPO, blood doping, testosterone, corticosteroids, and hGH, and also that he encouraged and assisted others to dope. And beyond that, they allege what they describe as a conspiracy, involving Armstrong as well as his team director and several doctors "to engage in the use of doping substances and techniques, which were either undetectable or difficult to detect in routine drug testing in order to advance the athletic and sporting achievement, financial wellbeing and status of the teams and their riders, employees, members and investors..."

http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/armstrongcharging0613.pdf

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Response to DanTex (Reply #21)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 02:26 PM

23. I wasn't aware that being accused of something makes you guilty

At this time, the only fact of the matter is that Armstrong faces several accusations - that's it. Maybe he doped, maybe he didn't, but regardless of what you believe to be true, or what you believe to be possible, you don't know whether those allegations are true. So far as I can read it, there is zero physical evidence against Lance Armstrong.

And BTW, if given a choice between inspiring young cancer patients, or inspiring young cyclists, then I have no real choice at all. The cyclists will just have to do without.

Finally, as a father who lost a young child to cancer, your "don't tell them there's no Santa Clause" line is pretty pathetic. Have you ever had to tell a 9 year old child they are dying? If telling my boy a lie would have given him strength to fight and live, the lie would have be told. In fact, it was told, and if I had it to do over again, I would have lied much better.

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Response to demwing (Reply #23)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 04:06 PM

25. I am sorry about your loss.

Nevertheless, as a cycling enthusiast who has read about this issue, I can tell you that the chances that Lance Armstrong has been clean the whole time are essentially nil. I think that if you were to read and research more about this, you would also come to the same conclusion. I agree that, like OJ Simpson, he is legally entitled to the presumption of innocence, but that doesn't mean he actually is innocent.

I concede, there may be more of a moral dilemma to this besides just whether or not Lance cheated. I can appreciate that the image of Lance provides comfort and strength to many people. Does that really make it all OK? To me, it makes it more insidious. Not only did he cheat and take drugs that potentially put his health at risk (and encourage others on his team to do the same, and bully people who tried to make cycling a cleaner sport), but then he has the audacity to pretend that it's all really his inner strength that he found during his cancer fight.

I can agree that lying to a particular child or cancer patient in order to give them strength to fight on is the right thing to do. But, as a society, as adults, I don't agree that we should condone what Lance Armstrong did simply because, as long you don't pay too close attention, the myth of Lance Armstrong is inspirational.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #25)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 04:20 PM

26. "Not only did he cheat and take drugs"

there you go again, making accusations for which you have no proof, and acting as if it were established fact.

I can't have a conversation with a person who does that. Have a good day.

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Response to DanTex (Reply #16)

Sat Jun 30, 2012, 03:42 PM

24. Fair enough.

Thanks for the info.

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