Brianna McNeal, Olympic champion of 100 meters hurdles, suspended for doping

The American Brianna McNeal, Olympic champion of 100 meters hurdles at the Rio 2016 Games, has been provisionally suspended for “obstructing the anti-doping process,” as announced on Thursday by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU).

The body accuses the 29-year-old athlete of “obstructing the results management process, a violation of the International Athletics Federation’s anti-doping rules,” without offering further details.

Seven months before the Tokyo Olympics, this decision is a new blow for American athletics, in which one of its great stars, sprinter Christian Coleman, was suspended two years for missing his anti-doping spotting obligations three times . The current 100-meter world champion appealed this penalty to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAS).

After winning gold in Rio, when she had already won it at the 2013 World Cup in Moscow, McNeal was already suspended for a year between 2017 and 2018 for missing her anti-doping location obligations three times and therefore missed the London World Cup. in 2017. Returning to competition in 2018, she was disqualified for a false start in the 2019 World Cup series in Doha.

For several months, doping cases have occurred in the first Olympic sport and refer mainly to faults in terms of location obligations. In June 2020, it was the Bahraini Salwa Eid Naser, the 400-meter world champion, who was provisionally suspended for this reason, before being acquitted on October 20 by the disciplinary tribunal of the International Athletics Federation (World Athletics) . The AIU appealed this decision to the CAS.

South African Luvo Manyonga, silver at the Rio Games in the long jump, was provisionally suspended on Friday, and Kenyan Elijah Manangoi, the 1,500-meter world champion in 2017, was suspended for two years in November, always for missing. to the obligations of location in anti-doping controls.

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Doping case “Operation Bloodletting”: high price for fresh blood

Sports doctor Mark S., who ran a blood doping network, is sentenced to prison. The Munich Regional Court also finds its helpers guilty.

Dissuasive verdict? Blood doping among athletes Photo: Bildagentur Mühlanger / imago

MUNICH dpa | Erfurt doctor Mark S. has been sentenced to four years and ten months in prison for years of blood doping. In addition, he was banned from working for three years. This was announced by the Munich II regional court on Friday. In addition to the doctor, his four helpers were also found guilty of the first major criminal case in Germany since the anti-doping law was introduced in 2015.

The court saw it as proven that Mark S. had treated several winter and cycling athletes with blood doping for years. In one case, he also administered a preparation to an Austrian mountain biker that was not approved for human use. The 42-year-old was therefore convicted of dangerous bodily harm by the criminal chamber, chaired by Judge Marion Tischler.

As the doctor’s most important helper, the craftsman Dirk Q. received a prison sentence of two years and four months. Nurse Diana S. was sentenced to one year and four months probation. The paramedics Sven M. and Ansgard S. received fines. Legal remedies are possible against the judgments, they are not yet final.

Comprehensive confessions

The network was blown in early 2019. Four of the five defendants were arrested during raids in Erfurt and during the Nordic Ski World Championships in Seefeld as part of the “Aderlass operation”. In the process, all five – some extensive – confessions.

Mark S. in court in Munich Photo: Peter Kneffel / dpa

German sports officials and anti-doping fighters hope that the trial will send a deterrent signal to fraudsters. After doping was classified as a criminal offense in Germany at the end of 2015, this procedure was the first in top-class sport. DOSB President Alfons Hörmann recently predicted that the process and the verdict would have “effects on the entire world of sport”.

Some athletes involved have been separately tried and convicted in their home countries; mostly suspended sentences jumped out. This week, the Austrian professional cyclist Georg Preidler received a prison sentence as a result of working with Mark S. German athletes were not part of the Munich prosecution.

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Long prison sentence for Mark Schmidt (neue-deutschland.de)

A historic process has come to an end. On Friday, the Munich district court sentenced the doctor Mark Schmidt to four years and ten months imprisonment for doping and dangerous bodily harm. His four co-defendants were sentenced partly to fines and partly to prison terms of up to two years and four months. The court was partly based on the anti-doping law passed in 2015. In the case of crimes from previous years, the Medicines Act was still used. Judge Marion Tischler thus moved between the demands of the public prosecutor and the defense. The prosecutors had called for Schmidt to be imprisoned for five and a half years, the defense pleaded for a maximum of three years. The defendant accepted the verdict with an unmoved face.

Harder than the detention itself – Schmidt has already served almost two years in pre-trial detention – the three-year professional ban is likely to affect him. The judge justified this with the “danger that similar violations of the law could happen”. On the one hand, Tischler emphasized that she did not see Schmidt as the “great doper over the decades”. The judge, however, was bothered by the ruthlessness with which Schmidt had sometimes acted. A welding machine for blood bags from a transfusion clinic in Ljubljana was confiscated from him. Schmidt had received the device from a medical technician from the Slovenian capital in exchange for his own defective device: Schmidt consciously accepted that patients who were dependent on blood reserves in the Ljubljana hospital would have a disadvantage, according to the judge .

The professional ban imposed on Mark Schmidt is the clearest signal of this judgment. All doctors who dope athletes now run the risk of losing their mostly well-paid main job, at least temporarily, if they are caught.

Another clear signal is that Tischler expressly described the anti-doping law as such as being in conformity with the constitution. The defense had argued that there was no such thing as an integrity worth protecting in sport. “Everyone is doping,” emphasized Schmidt’s lawyer Juri Goldstein several times. The judge – trained in drug-related proceedings – made a distinction between light and dark fields. Anyone who acts in the dark is of course surrounded by criminal activity. But it suppresses the bright field, i.e. all the people who don’t deal, press and steal to raise money. Derived from doping in sport, athletes will be asked in the future: Do you belong to the light field or the dark field?

It was also legally significant that, despite numerous crime scenes abroad, Tischler considered the German criminal law to be decisive in determining the scope of punishment. So the criminal law at the scene of the crime does not apply. Only in a second step, when determining the amount of the penalty, does it take into account the law applicable at the scene of the crime. Crime scenes were among others in Austria and Italy, Switzerland and Slovenia, in the USA and South Korea. Sometimes there is no anti-doping law there. Tischler’s approach of starting from the German criminal law led to significantly higher penalties compared to the demands of the defense.

This concludes the German line of negotiations for the “bloodletting” process. In Switzerland, the professional cyclist Pirmin Lang has been sentenced to a fine, his professional colleagues Georg Preidler and Stefan Denifl to prison terms of one and two years. Cross-country skier Johannes Dürr has also been sentenced to 15 months probation. His statements in the ARD documentary “Greed for Gold” initiated the process in the first place. Many of the other 23 athletes who belong to Schmidt’s doping network do not have to answer in court. For some, such as the former professional cyclist Danilo Hondo, the deeds are statute-barred. In Slovenia, Croatia, Kazakhstan or Estonia – all of Schmidt’s customers’ countries of origin – there is no doping offense at all.

Public prosecutor Kai Gräber welcomed the verdict to “nd” and described it as an “important step in the anti-doping fight”. Schmidt’s defense attorneys hurriedly left the courthouse without talking to journalists. You now have a week to submit a revision request. Schmidt himself was taken back to the detention center. The refrigerator in which he kept the blood bags is now in Berlin and is used to store corona vaccines. A nice side effect of this process.

Tischler, who as a doping laywoman had thrown herself into the new field of activity with verve, even came up with advice on combating doping at the end. Based on the testimony of a helper Schmidt, who was shocked after the 2018 Winter Olympics about the puncture-holed elbows of many athletes, the judge said: »With junkies you always look in the crook of your arm. Why don’t you do that in sports? ”Yes, why is there no reaction to such obvious signs of syringe culture?

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Bloodletting process: a deterrent to all pill distributors – sport

Sometimes the Erfurt doctor Mark Schmidt made an appointment with the athletes who used his blood doping services at a rest stop or in a Burger King parking lot. Then in the back seat of his car the blood ran into the vein. But of course everything was always super sterile. Sometimes Schmidt administered the extra liter of blood to his clients just before the long-haul flight. Then Schmidt added a thrombosis drug. Better safe than sorry – or maybe not?

Mark Schmidt, who was convicted by the Munich district court on Friday, called his blood courier services “a high quality offer” – compared to what is otherwise going on in the high-performance industry. German doping work, with a medical seal: His hope that this self-defined standard could save him from a long prison sentence has not been fulfilled. Schmidt received four years and ten months in prison; He’s only had two years of that.

There is no such thing as good, no excusable doping, that is one of the messages of the verdict. And it also does not protect against punishment if you artificially accelerate athletes out of a supposed “love of sport”, as Schmidt also claimed for himself. Doping is a criminal offense – this is what it says in the anti-doping law passed in 2015.

The Munich “bloodletting” process has now led to the first substantial conviction on the basis of this still young legal provision. Schmidt received the heavy fine that many had hoped for – as a deterrent for all the other pill distributors, blood bag freezers and their customers. Seen in this way, the anti-doping law has passed its baptism of fire. But the verdict must not hide the fact that the law does not otherwise work so often.

In the end, another professional cyclist falls dead from the saddle

A lot of amateur bodybuilders have been blown with testosterone. But the wall of silence around competitive sport has hardly cracked so far. A leniency program that protects willing athletes from criminal prosecution should now be submitted – five years too late. And the fact that there are only three public prosecutors specializing in doping in Germany does not speak for the state’s eagerness to educate.

Should the state even be interested in doping? Schmidt’s lawyers argued that the “integrity of sport”, which the anti-doping law is supposed to protect, does not really exist anyway – because ultimately everyone dopes. It’s good that this relativism didn’t catch on with the judge. Schmidt may have defined limits for his own blood business. Apart from a dizzy spell, no one was harmed directly. But indirectly, yes.

Sport is essentially an equal competition. Only then does he produce role models, only then does he encourage movement. Whoever introduces cheating in sport drives others into cheating. And if one of them pushes the boundaries here, the next comes and pushes them further. In the end, another professional cyclist falls dead from the saddle. The sport parents entrust their children to deserves state protection. This is one of the reasons why the subject of doping is in the right place here: with the public prosecutor and the courts.

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Florence Griffith-Joyner: The unsolved mystery of the dazzling sprint star

Give me THAT a moment if fate means well with me. Then, in that one short moment, I feel it, I feel it, eternity!

Whitney Houston († 48) sang the Olympic anthem in 1988 with “One moment in time”, which repeatedly accompanied the miracle runs by Florence Griffith-Joyner († 38) on television.

The American sprinter of the century flew into eternity over the tartan track from Seoul. Gold over 100 and 200 meters. Their world records are still valid today. And probably until the end of all athletics days. Were their victories really clean?

I got to know her personally on the evening of her 100-meter triumph at the 1988 Olympic Games.

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Comment on Sun Yang: More awesome, less dog – sport

One of the most important judgments of the International Sports Court Cas is null and void because the presiding judge berated Chinese people on Twitter who slaughter dogs and offer them for consumption. So this is the newest curiosity in the anti-doping fight. Chinese Olympic champion Sun Yang, 29, who had a blood sample destroyed with a hammer and was supposed to be banned from the pool for eight years – he’s back in the game. Because the lawyer Franco Frattini, who headed Sun’s sports trial – after all a former Italian foreign minister – was declared biased by the Swiss federal court. Biased towards the Chinese people. Because of dog meat tweets.

Doping has always been curious and hearty: from the alleged attack with a tube of toothpaste to foreign urine hidden in body orifices to the famous hole in the wall of the Sochi laboratory through which the Russian secret service exchanged sample vials. And now an animal rights lawyer who denies humanity to Chinese dog meat lovers with such crude words (“bastards”) that his judgment on a Chinese swimmer is overturned. Insane.

It could be, however, that something more fundamental is at stake here: the question of whether, in a world that has long since drifted apart in terms of communication, at least sport can still be subject to global jurisdiction.

Sun Yang’s followers thought the trial was a conspiracy against the Chinese people anyway

In fact, the process, which was exceptionally publicly conducted by the Cas, had revealed exactly that: threatening talk-past and misunderstanding. Some argued with rules and guidelines, others – namely Sun Yang and his domestic supporters in the association and with the authorities – were nevertheless convinced that they had done nothing wrong. They felt right in her Law; And this is how many of Sun Yang’s 33 million followers on the Weibo social network saw it: They believed the proceedings were a Western conspiracy against the Chinese people.

A consensus on what exactly the dishes are for cannot be found in the world. Not only in China do they have their own ideas, also in Turkey or Poland, and more recently in that part of the USA which Donald Trump considers the winner of the presidential election; the courts should just enforce it! The International Criminal Court in The Hague has remained a torso. The International Sports Court in Lausanne was never a perfect organization, on the contrary: It is dependent on the International Olympic Committee (IOC), its list of shortcomings is long. But at least he does exist: the guardian of a set of rules to which everyone who takes part in global sports must submit.

The common rules apply to everyone, and they are understood equally by everyone: at least in sport, this has long been enforced. Now the Cas has to decide on Sun Yang with a new panel of judges. Hopefully it will be more about the hammer again, less about the dog.

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two years of exclusion by CAS from world competitions

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The Lausanne Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), “supreme court” of world sport, has just excluded Russia for two years from major world competitions on Thursday, December 17, 2020, including the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2021 and those of Beijing winter in 2022, for breaking anti-doping rules.

The three referees appointed by CAS have halved the sanction proposed last year by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which was to be four years, while leaving Russian athletes never sanctioned for doping the possibility of themselves. line up under neutral banner.

The ” consequences “Russian cheating, that is, the large-scale rigging of computer data from the Moscow anti-doping laboratory,” are not as important as WADA wanted »Recognized the referees in their decision. The CAS ordered Rusada, the Russian anti-doping agency, to pay around one million euros to WADA to reimburse the expertises carried out since January 2019 on the rigging of data from the Moscow laboratory.

Athletes largely protected from collective sanction

After four days of closed hearing in early November, the arbitrators say they have ” taken into account proportionality issues ” Sanctions, ” and in particular, the need to promote a culture change and encourage the next generation of Russian athletes to participate in clean international sport », To justify their clemency.

Athletes were largely preserved from the collective sanction demanded by WADA, which initially included three editions of the Olympic Games, until Paris 2024, potentially ending the careers of many of them.

If the suspension applies until December 16, 2022, its effects on the World Cup which will end in Qatar two days later are not yet clear: Russian athletes can certainly compete under a neutral banner, but the press release from TAS does not specify how this tolerance can be applied to team sports.

A victory ” which will make a date »

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the federations were expecting clear directives from the CAS, seven months before the Tokyo Olympics, in order to avoid the problems of recent years in the Russian dossier. Before the Rio Games in 2016, WADA had recommended the exclusion of Russian athletes refused by the IOC, while a few days before the opening of the Pyeongchang Games in 2018, the CAS had cleared 28 Russian athletes suspended for life. by the IOC. In Rio, in the athletics stadium, only the long jumper Daria Klishina was allowed to compete under a neutral flag.

Ten years ago, Russian middle-distance runner Yuliya Stepanova and her husband Vitaly, ex-controller of Rusada, alerted WADA to institutionalized doping in Russia. The German channel ARD had broadcast from December 2014 a series of damning documentaries. Ten months after the revelations of German television and the Stepanov couple, the Canadian Richard Pound published for the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) a damning report on Russian athletics: these doping cases would not have ” could not exist Without the consent of the government.

Today, in a statement, WADA is delighted with a victory ” which will make a date “. The CAS ” clearly confirmed our findings that the Russian authorities brazenly and illegally manipulated data from the Moscow lab in an attempt to cover up an institutionalized doping program “Said AMA President Witold Banka, saying to himself” disappointed That the tribunal did not accept WADA’s recommendation to exclude Russia for four years.

Unacceptable for the Russian Olympic Committee

From the point of view of the Russian press, it is a victory because the world anti-doping agency had weighed all its weight for Russia, accused of numerous cheating since 2011, to be banned from competitions for four years. In the end, it will only be for two years, but Vladimir Poutin will not be able to attend the next two editions of the Olympic Games, Russian athletes will not be entitled to their anthem or their flag, reports our correspondent in Moscow, Paul Gogo.

The Russian Olympic committee denounced Thursday evening an unacceptable decision, seeing no reason to justify this punishment.

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Doping and Russia: decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport on December 17

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will render its final decision on December 17, 2020 in the dispute between the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) concerning a series of sanctions demanded by WADA against Russia, including the latter’s exclusion from the Olympic Games following a series of serious and repeated breaches of international anti-doping regulations. .

Russia ban: Olympic champion from Neutralia – sport

Have the champagne corks popped? That remains unclear in these difficult times. In any case, the thin statement of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) reveals nothing of the exempted jubilation that the judgment of the Sports Court Cas may have triggered there. On Thursday, the tribunal imposed a two-year Olympic ban on Russia, and international starts under the Russian flag are prohibited until the end of 2022. What sounds like tough crackdown, but in reality it is a mild sanctuary that is typical of the industry and should have sparked joy in Moscow as well: In fact, the sports judges have halved the doping ban imposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada).

Their sanction had already been a fuss for the audience. The brave Wada, in fact firmly in the hands of the IOC, wanted to drum briefly on its own chest. In the end, only what counts is the bottom line. In the case of Russia, it is the expected. In organized sport, where one cog engages another, hand in hand, an old boys network lies like mildew on countries and institutions: there is a basic consensus that sensitive political issues are settled in the back room before selected committees make decisions pour for the outside world.

The Russians are far too powerful in sport – and almost omniscient. Now they have to do without the anthem and flag in Tokyo 2021 and Beijing 2022. But not to fans who are allowed to show Russian flags in the stadiums; that’s where the joke begins. Cunning applications on the sportswear of the Moscow Sports Armada, which is no joke to strict neutrality, will also be on view, which will bring national affiliation even more into focus. And hundreds of millions of TV viewers can not be served with the nonsense that the Olympic champion from Somewhere or the country Neutralien Gold is hung around.

The exorcistic exercises of sport are so silly that serious analysis is superfluous. Boy plays like the one about Russian state doping could be laughed at heartily if there weren’t so much money involved. Not all the patriotism and nationalism, real and false pride, the fuss about values ​​and the dirty politics.

The recently passed “Rodchenkov Act” allows US investigators worldwide access

The good news: there is a future for fraud prevention. It bears the name of the man who, as the head of the Russian laboratory, helped unmask the state doping (which he previously helped to develop) in 2015 and has lived in the US witness protection program since then: Grigory Rodchenkov. The “Rodchenkov Act”, which has just been passed in the USA and is structured according to the type of anti-mafia laws, allows US investigators to access every sporting event in the world where only one dollar is moved. In logic: whoever dopes harms not only athletes, but everyone involved in the economic event. Which is why the investigation is not targeting doping athletes for the first time, but rather the other links in the fraud chain: doctors, supervisors, officials. So to those who prepare the milieu and do not even react with really tough sanctions when a fraud controlled with state finesse washes a whole winter game boom like the Sochi Games 2014 into the orcus.

The new US law touches on the autonomy of sport. This is an anachronism from gymnastics father Jahn’s times anyway, which still allows functionaries today, in a modern billion dollar industry, to make their deals undisturbed.

The Russia affair has swept away the sport practiced. But it is fermenting, especially in the West – the independent part of the athlete crowd is unhappy with this Olympic air number. And the US anti-doping agency Usada now has a strong law behind it. She calls the Cas judgment devastating, Wada and IOC had manipulated the Russia affair and, as so often, dealt politically.

Usada has the world’s most successful investigators on board. The next time they are found, they do not go to the Wada, but directly to the public prosecutor.

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International Sports Court: Many new loopholes (neue-deutschland.de)

Football World Cup 2022 in Qatar. The Russian selection stands arm in arm on the pitch. In red shirts with the name »Russia« on the back, white trousers, blue socks. There is no sound from the stadium speakers, but the team, thousands of fans waving Russia flags in the stands and President Vladimir Putin in the noble box are singing their own anthem loudly. It does not work? Did the International Sports Court rule out Cas this week? Very well – thanks to the many new loopholes!

In the first hours after the verdict was announced on Thursday, the headlines in countless Internet articles had suggested that Russia’s sport had been hit hard, after all, he was banned from the Olympic Games and World Championships for two years. But anyone who knows the original verdict of the World Anti-Doping Agency Wada and the underlying facts and then reads the Cas statement more closely, inevitably comes to the conclusion that Russia got away with two blue eyes. If you don’t believe that, you just have to read how Mikhail Buchanow, head of the Russian anti-doping agency Rusada, assessed the CAS judgment: “It’s a victory for Russia.”

The Russians did not get an acquittal after the biggest doping scandal in sports history. You have to pay the Wada just over a million euros. Your flag may not be hoisted at world championships or the Olympics until the end of 2022, and the anthem may not be officially played. Government representatives are not allowed to enter the stadiums and Russian athletes are only allowed to compete as “neutral athletes”. But all this was already in the Wada ruling, which had imposed these sentences on the Russians for four years. The Cas has now hollowed it out vigorously.

First of all, there is the flag: The new ruling says that no organizer can be punished if he does nothing against fans who bring Russian flags into the stadium. In addition, athletes can again wear uniforms in the colors of the flag. What about the anthem? Unless otherwise stated in the as yet unpublished verdict, no athlete will be punished for singing the anthem on the podium himself, as the 2018 Olympic ice hockey champions did in Pyeongchang. Incidentally, they were clearly recognizable as Russians with the label “Olympic Athlete from Russia”. According to Wada, this should not happen again, but the CAS allows the country name to be used again on jerseys, as long as it is not larger than the addition “Neutral Athlete”.

The athletes’ initiative Global Athlete reacted in shock: “This decision hits clean athletes again in the face. The fact that Russian athletes are allowed to start as ›Neutral Athletes from Russia‹ is a farce and mocks the system. Russia was not banned, it was only renamed. «Tatiana Pokrovskaja, national coach of the synchronized swimmers, summed it up aptly:» When our athletes are on top of the podium, everyone will know that they are Russians. And probably some athletes will sing the anthem too. “

Even the ban on members of the government up to President Putin has been relaxed. If the host country invites him or other ministers, they are allowed into the arenas. Qatar’s Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Putin have met often in recent years and not only talked about investments in Russia, but also about the 2022 World Cup. An invitation from the emir to Putin would not come as a surprise.

In theory, the sanctions could be extended. After all, the Russians are supposed to help find the manipulated data from the Moscow doping control laboratory. However, in recent years the Rusada and Russia’s Ministry of Sports had argued that everything was just a mistake by an overzealous system administrator and that the data had unfortunately been deleted forever. According to the current judgment, nothing should change in this type of cooperation.

In an initial reaction, Wada tried to strike a Solomonic middle course: “The judges followed our assessment that Russian authorities had brazenly and illegally manipulated data in order to cover up an institutionalized doping plan,” said Wada President Witold Banka. “Nevertheless, we are disappointed that the Cas did not bear all of our consequences for four years. Nevertheless, they are still the toughest sanctions ever imposed on a country for doping offenses. “

Many individual athletes have been punished for just one positive test for a long time. Russia, on the other hand, gets off lightly, even though there has been massive amounts of doping, hundreds of positive cases covered up, thousands of data manipulated and misleading evidence laid. “It was a state sponsored conspiracy against the values ​​of sport. It stole the hope of medals and the opportunity to build careers for clean athletes, ”wrote UK Anti-Doping Authority Chair Nicole Sapstead. “A more serious rule violation is difficult to imagine, so I don’t understand the halving of the penalty.”

Russia’s sports officials, on the other hand, celebrated that those athletes who have never been convicted of doping can now start again. And they are by no means all clean. So far, it was enough for a start ban if investigators proved that their samples had been destroyed or their data manipulated. The Cas has now apparently also tipped that. A system precisely designed to cover up fraud and protect dopers will be rewarded.

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