Ryan Braun Wins Appeal, Will Not Be Suspended

Ryan Braun has won the appeal of his failed banned substance test and will not be suspended for the first 50 games of the season, reports Tom Haudricourt of The Journal Sentinel. The union officially announced the win, saying both parties agreed to the announcement despite what is usually a confidential process. MLB has issued a statement saying it "vehemently disagrees" with the decision.

"It is the first step in restoring my good name and reputation," said Braun in a statement passed along by MLB.com's Adam McCalvy. "We were able to get through this because I am innocent … This is not just about one person, but about all current and future players, and thankfully the process worked."

Haudricourt says the appeal went Braun's way not because of the test result, but because of a technicality with the testing process. CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman and The New York Post's Joel Sherman report that part of Braun's argument was that the sample was not shipped in a timely fashion and that the chain of custody was broken for two days, meaning the sample was left unprotected (Twitter links). Independent arbitrator Shyam Das ruled in favor of the technicality, giving Braun the win by a 2-1 margin.

The reigning NL MVP is the first player to have a suspension successfully overtuned through the appeals process.

465 Responses to Ryan Braun Wins Appeal, Will Not Be Suspended Leave a Reply

  1. Hoosier_Oriole 3 years ago

    Let me just say this. Chain of custody is extremely important in an incident such as this, and frankly, if MLB did not have the conscience to “hand deliver” this sample to the lab, then they deserve this ruling. This is atrocious behavior involving such a serious matter. If they knew when this incident started that they had a lapse in the Chain they should have thrown out the results, retested Braun immediately, then lived with those results. This casts a pall on every ruling they have had thus far. How can they say they have observed proper measures for all of the other samples? One incident casts a doubt on all of them.

    • Jb 3 years ago

      They DID retest Braun almost immediately after – but by braun’s request and he was negative. Doesn’t anyone else wonder how he could go from highest level ever to negative in a week?

  2. Anyone who thinks Ryan Braun is a cheater is an anti-Semite. There I said it. jk. But this is a debate that will never be settled. You either like him or you don’t. With the information we have there’s nothing more to be said.

  3. Second Base Coach 3 years ago

    MLB will now have a lab in every major league city… so as to speed up the process.  You watch!

  4. CC 3 years ago

    This is hurtin the reds hopes

  5. Nv 3 years ago

    No matter how he won. He won. Gotta love america where your innocent until proven guilty or we just dont like u enough to care about the outcome ur guilty in our eyes anyway. Ahhh america..

  6. CFan 3 years ago

    New name: OJ Braun

  7. If it’s not air tight. There must be no room for doubt. You can’t convict if there is any doubt. Given that you retest and your clean. Too much stigma with a positive result. The decision was correct.

  8. If it’s not air tight. There must be no room for doubt. You can’t convict if there is any doubt. Given that you retest and your clean. Too much stigma with a positive result. The decision was correct.

  9. CFan 3 years ago

    New name: OJ Braun

  10. CFan 3 years ago

    See later comment

  11. Hey MLB—the Keystone Kops say hello! MLB needs to do better than this…somewhere, the WADA is laughing its head off.

  12. CFan 3 years ago

    If Braun had admitted it and asked for forgiveness from the fans, I think most of us would have given it if he stayed out of trouble. Now he will be forever known and tarnished as the guy who got off on a technicality. His PR and legal team should be fired for taking such a short-term view. Everyone hates a cheater who gets off.

    • SpeedS28 3 years ago

      Why should he have to admit it if in fact he didn’t do anything wrong?

      • CFan 3 years ago

        Every report is linking this to a technicality not a clean test.

        • pmollan 3 years ago

          A tainted sample through procedural error.  Explains the unheard of levels of testosterone revealed in the tainted sample- levels more than double the highest results previously recorded.

          • Amakiir 3 years ago

            When you say “A tainted sample through procedural error.”

            That sounds like a plausible argument.

            Until you read the next sentence which states the ‘procedural error’ was leaving the sample in a sealed container, in a refrigerator, undisturbed for 48 hours.

            Synthetic testosterone doesn’t magically appear in urine samples left in the refrigerator.

          • pmollan 3 years ago

            His testosterone ratio was 20:1.  Suspicion begins around 4:1.  His test was double that of the highest results ever recorded, and this after his sample goes missing for two days.  Seems fishy to me.
            Furthermore, by the time the sample had reached the lab, the Ph levels had changed. The sample had deteriorated.  

          • Amakiir 3 years ago

            Are you trying to argue that changing the Ph of a urine sample will cause the carbon atoms in the testosterone to change to a different isotope?

            Also, athletes have tested 11:1 testosterone to epitestosterone. Some healthy people register 10:1 ratios at times. The point here is that his testosterone was found to be synthetic.

    • pmollan 3 years ago

      Nice logic.  Guilty until proven innocent, then guilty anyway.

  13. SpeedS28 3 years ago

    People realize that tests fail all the time right? I bet most people here fail at their job every day. There are people who get tested negative for HIV and actually have it an visa versa. Nothing is perfect. Maybe everyone in this forum should become scientists and create a perfect test and system. 

    • CFan 3 years ago

      I actually have experience with drug testing procedures and have been involved with testing of several thousand people. Other than a couple of poppy seed tests, which can be easily be dealt with, I know of zero false positives. He did it. Just like OJ.

  14. SpeedS28 3 years ago

    when did he ever say he used something? find me this quote please! 

  15. SpeedS28 3 years ago

    when did he ever say he used something? find me this quote please! 

  16. SpeedS28 3 years ago

    still not sure when he said this? where did you find this please!

  17. Chris Ayson 3 years ago

    This a complete joke!! We all know if his skin color would have been darker and his last name Bonds this would have never happened. Then again Bonds never failed a test NOT one!! Braun however did fail a test. 

  18. I failed a drug test once for eating a poppy seed muffin. Maybe Braun ate a poppy seed muffin…..

    • CFan 3 years ago

      Very clever. I will order the steroids muffin tomorrow morning.

  19. Madman2TX 3 years ago

    MLB Network posting tweets of people claiming Braun was “exonerated”. He wasn’t cleared of all guilt…he got off on a technicality. It’s like any other criminal who showed the Judge that his rights weren’t read properly. In spite of his fans adoration, Braun gets an asterisk from here on out.

  20. michael hughes 3 years ago

    Fair enough, I appreciate the thoughtful response. 
    It really comes down to the MLB making a unacceptable mistake in the course of their testing process, and allowing doubt to slip in where it shouldn’t have been able to. It definitely complicates things, but in a very strict sense it doesn’t “clear his name”.

    • CFan 3 years ago

      My sister once got a speeding ticket and complained about it. I said did you speed? Yes. Then stop complaining.

    • At the end of the day, however, Major League Baseball needs to explain itself. The break in the chain of custody is more disturbing.

  21. CFan 3 years ago

    I highly doubt OJ Braun would ever end up with Hall of Fame credentials, but this will ensure he will never get in. The voters have been appropriately skeptical of guys who never tested positive, so a cheater who gets off has no hope.

  22. Hmm…this is interesting…I definitely want to hear more, especially about this technicality. I was looking at the schedule yesterday. Games 46-50? Milwaukee @ the Dodgers. Those should be some interesting games…

  23. The reigning NL MVP is the first player to have a suspension successfully overtuned through the appeals process.

  24. Now, we’re right back where we started. Every player who tests positive will come up with some outlandish excuse, half of which will be upheld. We’ve wasted the last 10 years. Just let them cheat….fine. Throw out all the record books, and let the cheaters act like the stat-obsessed babies they are. Williams and DiMaggio must be turning in their graves. Ryan Braun…..you are a cheater!!!!

  25. VadaPinson 3 years ago

    You gotta love the USA>  Getting off on a technicality…..no matter what you did…. is what lawyers look for, and what some people seem to love others doing…which is getting away with it.  Why?  Beacuse they probably wish they could get away with something themselves.

    Braun is guilty but the police forgot to read him his Miranda rights…basically.   This is the definition on getting off on a technicality and MLB continues to drop the ball…just right when it looks like they got a hold of it.

    Was the arbitrator on the Casey Anthony jury by any chance?

    • burritolikethesun 3 years ago

      Berr derrp consider yerself lucky to live in a country where the law is expected be upheld to the letter, derp.

  26. lefty58 3 years ago

    O.J. Braun.

  27. pmollan 3 years ago

    Vindicated!  Suck it haters!

    • wood34 3 years ago

      Vindicated!!???? Are you kiding me??? Look up the definition! He got off on a “technicality”! CHEATER!!!!!

  28. JimBaily 3 years ago

    Canseco, Clemons, McGwire, Palmiero, Braun, Manny, ARod………

  29. slider32 3 years ago

    Braun said today that others were tested on the day he was tested. If Fed X picked all the sample wouldn’t they all be sent to the same place at the same time. In that case , if there was a delay in sending, wouldn’t the other samples be tainted and have the same reading as Braun’s. If the other players sample tested clean, then Braun should have tested clean. If only Braun’s sample was held, then it looks like MLB was trying to cover it up.

  30. Rumper 3 years ago

    As a scientist, I send out samples with COCs regularly.  If I can’t get a sample to the lab within 24 hours, regulators will not accept the results because the contents can degrade and because lawyers can challenge results.  Also, nobody takes samples home to their house and sticks them next to the ketchup.  That’s just nuts.  My point is that this is much more than a technicality.  Its a totally legitamate reason to overturn.  I am hard-core against PEDs but I support Braun 100%.  And I’m a Mets fan, not Brewers.     

    • burritolikethesun 3 years ago

      “Also, nobody takes samples home to their house and sticks them next to the ketchup.”
      Baaahahahahaha. Awesome.

  31. slider32 3 years ago

    I agree with everything you said, it looks like MLB was trying to mess this sample up so Braun could get off, remember Selig used to own the Brewers. There more than meets the eye here. Similar to spy gate in football, and by the way I think there is more steriod use in football than baseball and has been for many years.The NFL steriod testing is a joke compared to baseball. Let’s remember that steriods started in football, congress just got mad at baseball and zero’d in on them.

    • D_Lo_13 3 years ago

      Tell me, how the heck would Selig know the results were positive BEFORE it got to Montreal. People mess up…it happens. Or it’s all a conspiracy, like everything in the United States.

  32. Let’s see how his physique looks at the end of the 2012 season compared to the end of his 2011 season.


    This is quite the trade rumor.

  34. I’m floored by all the media saying that Braun made a convincing argument and “must be innocent” because he made such valid points and with such grace and eloquence. And….how many months did he have to prepare this crock? I could have memorized Hamlet and performed it like Richard Burton with that much prep time.

  35. Whether he was at fault or not, it seems that he did piss what was tested. That being said the guy that took it home broke the rules, leaving Braun a huge loophole which he rightfully took advantage of.

  36. Ken Roucka 3 years ago


  37. Hold on, it may not have been that bad of an idea to not draft him. Remember, without Fielder, he is now the premiere hitter on the team. He has no protection in the lineup.

  38. that was corrected

  39.  PATHETIC. HE IS A CHEATER AND LIAR, period!!!!! Every town he goes to, he will get booed harshly. This is a JOKE.

  40. BlueCatuli 3 years ago

    He is hardly the face of baseball.

  41. bleedrockiepurple 3 years ago

    Or do draft this early and take Braun in the 7th round and now look like a genius!

  42. CyYoungSuppan 3 years ago

     Yeah?  Where is your definitive information of such a claim that he is a cheater and a liar?  Must be from all the information released in regards to it all.  Otherwise you wouldn’t be so mad and say such crazy things.  Of course the league will be opposed to it.  This makes them look bad no matter the reason he won.

  43. Ladies and gentlemen, the class of Cincinnati.

  44. Giorgi Almonte 3 years ago


  45.  Not kidding — there was a rumor during the season that he had herpes and was taking a medication to cure it ha.  Apparently, the failed test was a protein not a steroid which alleviates herpes

  46.  More info from XM/MLB Radio:  There was apparently a delay in the transfer of the sample in which there was a 2 (+/-) day period in which the sample was left unprotected (a break in the chain of custody or security).  John Heyman also reporting this info.

    Braun himself had passed 3 tests last year (according to his statement)… and then suddenly – at the end of the playing year – he had this monstrously high testosterone test result.  If those are the facts, I’d probably say “oh, really???” as an arbitrator, too.  There’s a credibility strain here.

  47. correct, having humongous bug eyes doesn’t make you the face of baseball

  48. Philip Marlowe 3 years ago

    True. He’s barely the face of baseball in Milwaukee.

  49.  how does one forget about mat gamel?

  50. $3513744 3 years ago

    Kemp didn’t exactly have Fielder.  Seemed to do just fine anyhow. 

  51.  All right, so the one independent guy sided with Braun.  That’s the jury they had… count ’em any way you want.

  52. jb226 3 years ago

    Since when does “MLB thinks he is guilty” mean “he IS guilty?”  Please, tell us what insider information you have to know with such certainly what Ryan Braun did or did not do with his body, because from where I’m sitting he just convinced an arbitration panel that the only evidence we know of–the test–was such bunk that even with MLB’s policy of strict liability (“prove you’re innocent”) it shouldn’t fly.

    Is it a technicality?  The proper answer is “who cares?”  The arbitrator just decided that something was so ridiculously wrong with the test that MLB’s “proof” isn’t worth the paper it was printed on.  If you still want to hate on Braun for it, go ahead.  I’m a Cubs fan so personally I would have loved for it to be true, but I also live in the real world where an accusation does not mean guilt.

  53. Mike Wunder 3 years ago

     Guilty of what??  MLB and it’s testing agency couldn’t prove who even HAD the sample for 2 days!

  54. PWNdroia 3 years ago

    I’m in agreement, I’m just questioning the decision.  I believed he was a cheater too, but there are no real laws or expectations in MLB concerning drug use considering how he got away with it.

  55. Philip Marlowe 3 years ago

    Or Aramis Ramirez.

  56. tinman135 3 years ago

     Because neither Gamel nor Ramirez compare to Fielder.

  57. slider32 3 years ago

    That’s just a smoke screen to defry the blame away from them. It’s no coensidence that Braun’s testing came out premature and he is the only one tested that was overturned. What a scam, Selig. Selig has them hold onto the sample, to enable him to get off. Melvin doesn’t add an outfielder in the off season knowing Braun was going to get off.

  58. toddcoffeytime 3 years ago

    Or Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks, who are both well above average at their respective positions.

  59. slider32 3 years ago

    A-Rod gets hammered before their was testing, and Braun gets off. You make your own conclusion. Braun better not get into the Hall of Fame ahead of A-Rod. Selig put the fix in.

  60. InLeylandWeTrust 3 years ago

    Umm what? Who even comes close? 

  61. Yeah I got off an OUI one time too. Had nothin to do with actually being sober though. The Cops took too long sending the urine to the lab. So won the case on a “technicality” soud familiar “igotzbraun.”

  62. toddcoffeytime 3 years ago

    Wow a reasonable person, you are like four in a million on this thread!

  63. slider32 3 years ago

    That was all part of the set up to get him off.

  64. I guess the positive test for roids doesn’t count as evidence?  Seriously the only evidence anyone needs is a positive test.  So the only way the roids get into that urine is if Braun took them or someone juiced it.  So really lets look at which of those things is more likely.

  65. toddcoffeytime 3 years ago

    Boom goes the dynamite!  Eloquently stated.

  66. slider32 3 years ago

    What if Braun’s lawyers leeked to story to make him look like the victum and make the MLB look bad.

  67. CyYoungSuppan 3 years ago

    It’s just ridiculous how so many people come off as personally offended by this.  Take what facts are known and go from there.  To say he is innocent or guilty based off what we all know is premature.  We can only speculate at this time.  And this is coming from a diehard Brewers fan.  I am ecstatic that he won the hearing, but that doesn’t mean I think he is 100% innocent, either.  People need to calm down.  

  68. BarrelMan 3 years ago

    I know. Kneel before Zod.
    It’ll be a new year for StL too.

  69. The suspension was overturned.  Not the positive test.  Chain of custody was ruled against. There is no evidence it was tainted. There is evidence that protocol wasn’t followed perfectly.

  70. BoSoxSam 3 years ago

    He didn’t prove his innocence. At most he proved that MLB can be sloppy with the process. The whole point of his argument was that they couldn’t be SURE whether it was a legitimate test or not, not that he was innocent. This clears absolutely nothing up.

  71. reality20122013 3 years ago

     You may be right.  I have nothing against Braun.  But it sure sounds like he is getting off on a technicality, not because his results were actually clean.

    This is going to kill the MLB’s effort to create a clean game.  Now every guy that was reported to have tested positive will want to see if the proper procedures were followed in their test cases.  If they weren’t, what will be the fallout especially for players like Clemens & Palmeiro?

  72. Josher 3 years ago

    He didn’t prove his innocence. He proved that he got off on a technicality. Big difference.

  73. tinman135 3 years ago

     I understand that, but don’t you think that all evidence that comes out should be used?  I mean, Braun is accused of PED use, denies it.  Sounds fine, case closed, he fights it, whatever.  But then like a week later he or his agent come out and say that the failed test was due to herpes medication and that was leaked to the public too.  Like, if you admit to using a medication that may have effected the results of the test, it seems as though that should also be taken into consideration when coming to a verdict.

  74. So you are saying someone tainted the sample? That is the only way the sample tests positive if Braun is indeed innocent.

  75. So you are saying someone tainted the sample? That is the only way the sample tests positive if Braun is indeed innocent.

  76. slider32 3 years ago

    Braun’s lawyers leek the test, and Selig holds the result, result Braun gets off.

  77. TheReturnOfMrBlanks 3 years ago

    it was probably just a over the counter test supplement. relax brotha

  78. TheReturnOfMrBlanks 3 years ago

    it was probably just a over the counter test supplement. relax brotha

  79. slider32 3 years ago

    He screwed up!

  80. I think the positive was for real.  Braun came out with all these excuses for why he tested positive.  So if he did nothing wrong, why come out with the herp excuse?

  81. jpg1200 3 years ago

    ok well I’m saying even if he did fail the 03 test, which he pretty much admitted to, it shouldn’t affect his hall status cause PEDs were not banned by the MLB yet in 03

  82. If he did nothing wrong there is no reason for excuses.  To defend yourself would  be I did nothing wrong and let the process handle itself.  Excuses are made by the guilty. It was synthetic testosterine. I guess OJ is innocent too.

  83. $22264602 3 years ago

    He’s clean just accept it.

  84. $22264602 3 years ago

    Simple people like cachhubguy above already made their mind to hate regardless of the outcome. 

  85. slider32 3 years ago

    This isn’t even about Braun, no one cares about him, it’s corruption. This stinks to the high heavens. Let’s face it, the Brewers aren’t winning the world series.

  86. redsx968 3 years ago

    please get that hash tag out of my face. #thanks

  87. tinman135 3 years ago

     Okay, I get the meds he “reportedly” is taking is not evidence, but then why even come out to say that is what made the test come out funny?  It just seems like he or his agent were trying to cover something up.  Like I said, I don’t know if he did or didn’t take PED’s and I don’t really care, the whole thing just seems fishy to me.

  88. jagst5_PA 3 years ago

    Anyone who has ties to steroids should NEVER be allowed in the Hall of Fame. Players now are gonna think that it is alright to take steroids. Braun just opened up a whole new Steroid Era in Major League Baseball.

  89. thegrayrace 3 years ago

    Kemp > Braun

  90. Encarnacion's Parrot 3 years ago

    Bernie Brewer.

  91. Snoochies8 3 years ago

    you should really stop now

  92. sourbob 3 years ago

    It doesn’t change the result of the test, no. But it does make it possible it’s not the same sample Braun submitted. Or that it is the same sample, but that it was tampered with, or inadvertently tainted.

    And therefore, this sample is now meaningless and any conclusions anyone would want to draw from it are suspect.

  93. How do you know? Was the sample kept securely? No…as such, that might not have been Braun’s pure urine there.

    Procedures are there for a reason.

  94. stalebrew 3 years ago

     Seriously? He did what? And how exactly do you know this? He took a drug test and the sample was mishandled. This is everything we know.

  95. pmollan 3 years ago

    Did what? Received a false positive from a tainted sample?

  96. Chris Ayson 3 years ago

    Thats like saying I took some medicine and didn’t know it contained roids!! I call BS!! 

  97. Leonard Washington 3 years ago

    He is not totally off the hook, nor is an asterisk a given. They failed to provide much info and i’m sure more will come out. They have just said that “Part” of his argument was the mishandling.  The other “Part” is pretty important. That information alone without the other “Part” and some context makes him seem guilty. So until all the details are out im gonna give him this one. 

  98.  Tony LaRussa included?

  99. sourbob 3 years ago

    I’m absolutely not saying he’s definitely clean. I’m saying the test result was definitely not handled properly and thus there is no way at all to know if the results it purports to show are accurate.

  100. toddcoffeytime 3 years ago

    Done and done

  101. toddcoffeytime 3 years ago

    After releasing an initial statement, and one separate statement from his top lawyer, Ryan Braun said nothing.  I would love to see some quotes of these proposed “excuses.”  The herp excuse was never their angle of defense, nor did it originate in Braun’s camp.

  102. Amakiir 3 years ago

    He is guilty.  There is no argument being made, nor was there ever an argument made, about his innocence.  Instead they used a completely illogical argument that somehow a group of people, who clearly are irrational, agreed with.

  103. Amakiir 3 years ago

    Their argument isn’t based in reality.  They made an argument that, on its face could potentially be plausible, but upon any level of scrutiny is obviously completely illogical.  But the people on the panel somehow managed to get tricked into believing the arguments.

  104.  Not necessarily. If an sample is not stored properly (shipped in a timely fashion, in the right collecting vessel, at the right temperature, etc.) the chemicals or bacteria within it that the sample is being tested for can change their levels. Some chemicals can break down, and they can degrade at different rates. Others can increase.

    If a sample is not properly handled at every point, it can not just be tampered with – it can undergo changes that are unpredictable and damaging to the test. Labs I’ve worked in, depending on the procedures specific to that lab, would have often just rejected a sample with a broken chain of custody such as this one as “unverified/improperly collected”, discarded it without wasting the time of even bothering testing it since the results would be invalid, and notified the sample sender to collect another sample (and do it RIGHT this time).

    If the MLB is upset, they have only their amateurish procedures and screwing up to blame. Next time do it properly and you will have a result that will stand up.

  105. GonzoVision 3 years ago

    Right? Like someone has it out for Braun and added testosterone to his sample? Come onnnnnnn man

  106.  The issue was the sample was kept as the tester’s house over the weekend then fedex to the lab. They couldn’t prove the sample wasn’t messed with.

    Baseball’s own rules state there will be no delay in getting the sample to the lab to ensure the integrity.

    These guys got it right.

  107. GonzoVision 3 years ago

    Break down maybe…Testosterone increasing to “Insane levels” in a sample over time? I dont see how thats possible.

  108. mypoorbuccos 3 years ago

     Aoki. Ahem.

  109. mypoorbuccos 3 years ago

    At what point does reality become the whacked out scenario you are willing to embrace?

  110. actually, the 3x higher than any other test idea has been proven to be wrong, and the amount he “supposedly” tested at was high, but higher amounts have been recorded.

  111. actually, the 3x higher than any other test idea has been proven to be wrong, and the amount he “supposedly” tested at was high, but higher amounts have been recorded.

  112. Benjamin Horton 3 years ago

    drop it. he’s clean and clear and thats that.

  113. JunkyardDawg1 3 years ago

    You’ve made two erroneous assumptions.  One, you’re assuming the testosterone was from him, when 44 hours passed before the bozo who took it did what he was supposed to do, and who knows what he did with the sample or who’s it was.  Second, the medication rumor was just that a rumor.  He didn’t test positive for a medication, because he wasn’t taking a medication. 

  114. JunkyardDawg1 3 years ago

    You’ve made two erroneous assumptions.  One, you’re assuming the testosterone was from him, when 44 hours passed before the bozo who took it did what he was supposed to do, and who knows what he did with the sample or who’s it was.  Second, the medication rumor was just that a rumor.  He didn’t test positive for a medication, because he wasn’t taking a medication. 

  115. JunkyardDawg1 3 years ago

    My information has come from acutal credible sources.  Your information is BS.  Give it up.

  116. JunkyardDawg1 3 years ago

    You said Braun said he was taking medication which caused the result, which is 100% completely false.  Did you see him talk about this issue himself?  He denied it.  That’s my source.  Now that you don’t have him as a source, who’s yours?  You also don’t know for a fact that it was his test result, because there was a break in the chain of custody for 44 hours.  I can’t prove that it isn’t is, but you can’t prove that it is.  You can’t just repeat all the garbage you’ve heard on the internet and repeat it as fact.  That’s just plain stupid and irresponsible. 

  117. burritolikethesun 3 years ago

    Yeah! He is so irresponsible for posting a view on a MLBTR message board!

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