Complete timeline with video, quotes

In its decade of lifestyles, the National Women’s Soccer League has been rocked through fashionable allegations of emotional, verbal and sexual abuse. The E60 documentary “Truth Be Told,” which is now to be had to look at on ESPN+, chronicles one of the crucial maximum severe allegations of abuse within the NWSL, with a more in-depth take a look at two of essentially the most notable, involving former Portland Thorns trainer Paul Riley and previous Washington Spirit trainer Richie Burke.

Here, we take you thru how those tales opened up, step-by-step, in accordance with contemporaneous reporting. In addition, Monday’s 319-page investigative file through former performing U.S. legal professional basic Sally Yates serves as supporting supply subject matter for a lot of what’s purported to have came about.

In an effort to give an explanation for an advanced state of affairs, we’ve got divided the 2 timelines to be able to cause them to more straightforward to practice, specializing in the information, movements and notable quotes round each and every state of affairs.

Jump to: Portland Thorns | Washington Spirit

Dec. 10, 2013
The Portland Thorns announce Paul Riley as their subsequent head trainer after trainer Cindy Parlow Cone resigns after one season to spend extra time with her circle of relatives.

Jan. 10, 2014
The Houston Dash draft Thorns midfielder Meleana “Mana” Shim within the NWSL growth draft. Shim tells Riley she desires to stick in Portland, in keeping with her interview with E60.

Jan. 17, 2014
The Thorns business NWSL school draft choices to stay Shim. “We didn’t want to lose her in the first place,” Riley stated. “Since Houston drafted her, our priority had been to get her back.”

May 9, 2015
After a recreation at Providence Park in Portland, Thorns gamers and coaches cross to a bar, the place Riley offers the bartender his bank card and says: “Get the girls whatever they want.” Riley, an assistant trainer, Shim and teammate Sinead Farrelly are the closing ones to go away the bar and, strolling again, Shim wishes to make use of the restroom and Riley provides his condominium, which is close by.

There, the assistant trainer quickly leaves, however Riley allegedly offers the gamers extra beverages and asks Shim to bop with him, bobbing up in the back of her and seeking to grind on her, Shim instructed E60. When Riley leaves to make use of the restroom, the gamers make a decision to go away, however wait to mention good-bye to him as a result of they did not wish to disappointed him. When Riley returns he asks in the event that they ever hook up, after which allegedly asks them to kiss each and every different. He then provides an incentive: If they do, he’s going to cancel a group drill referred to as “the suicide mile” at coaching.

June 5, 2015
On a highway shuttle in Houston for a recreation tomorrow, Riley asks Shim to come back to his lodge room to look at recreation movie. Shim, who’s sharing a room with Farrelly, confides in her teammate that Riley were making her uncomfortable since that incident in May. He had began texting her extra ceaselessly and he began asking her out for one-on-one dinners, she says.

Shim allegedly displays Farrelly a photograph Riley had despatched her: it’s Riley dressed in not anything however compression shorts. Farrelly did not inform Shim on the time, however Riley had despatched Farrelly an identical pictures when he coached her at a prior membership, she has alleged.

When Shim arrives to Riley’s room for the movie overview consultation, Riley opens the door whilst status in the back of it, and as soon as Shim is within, she sees that Riley is dressed in simplest his undies, white briefs, she instructed E60. He allegedly tells her to get at the mattress to look at movie, however he does not have any movie able to look at. Shim says she wishes to organize for tomorrow’s recreation and leaves.



Mana Shim discusses her alleged sexual misconduct beneath former trainer Paul Riley, and why she determined to talk out. Watch the documentary, E60: Truth Be Told, now ESPN+.

July 5, 2015
Shim sends Riley an e-mail with the topic line “Concerns” and tells him that she has “felt uncomfortable” with the best way he has handled her: “We both know that your interactions with me have been inappropriate and it has negatively impacted me on the field,” she writes. According to the Yates investigators, Riley deleted the e-mail and cleared his trash folder upon receiving it.

Afterward, Shim noticed her taking part in time with the Thorns diminished.

Sept. 8, 2015
Portland Thorns basic supervisor Gavin Wilkinson says Riley’s long term on the membership is unsure after lacking the playoffs that season. “It’s a decision that we’re evaluating, to be honest,” Wilkinson stated.

Sept. 16, 2015
Shim recordsdata a proper criticism to the Thorns about Riley’s habits, which incorporates extra allegations than simply those in May and June. She emails Wilkinson, membership proprietor Merritt Paulson, Riley and the membership’s HR director. She then forwards her e-mail to Jeff Plush, commissioner of the NWSL, who tells her that he spoke to Paulson and the league will practice the Thorns’ investigation.

Sept. 17-22, 2015
The Thorns start an investigation into Shim’s allegations. The Thorns HR director interviews Shim on my own. Farrelly could also be interviewed through the HR director on my own, one time, for 20 mins, she has stated.

Sept. 22, 2015
Another NWSL group, Sky Blue FC, contacts the Thorns expressing hobby in hiring Riley. Paulson sends a observe to Wilkinson about this: “Good and thanks.”

Plush stocks Sky Blue FC’s hobby with Lisa Levine, U.S. Soccer’s criminal recommend, U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati and U.S. Soccer CEO Dan Flynn. Gulati responds: “Let’s make sure we are up to speed on how the Portland situation is being handled/investigated.”

Levine calls Sky Blue FC that day to show {that a} participant had “alleged sexual harassment against Riley.” Sky Blue FC says it is going to discover a other trainer, and that data would keep confidential.

Sept. 23, 2015
The Thorns publicly announce that the membership “would not be retaining” Riley as trainer, however the membership does no longer reveal that Riley’s contract has been terminated. In a press unencumber, Wilkinson is quoted as pronouncing, “On behalf of Thorns FC, I would like to thank Paul for his services to the club these past two seasons.”

In Riley’s termination letter, additionally dated for Sept. 23, 2015, the Thorns cite motive for firing him, together with “neglect, refusal or willful failure to render services,” “gross negligence or willful misconduct,” and behaving in an “adverse manner” together with “dishonesty, fraudulent behavior, unethical behavior and the like.” The letter additionally states: “While our investigation did not reveal any unlawful conduct by anyone, we did confirm that on occasion, you exercised poor judgment in your interactions with one or more players.”

Oct. 26, 2015
The Thorns business Farrelly to the Boston Breakers. Farrelly asks Wilkinson if it needed to do with the Riley investigation, which Wilkinson denies. Farrelly additionally asks if Riley will probably be allowed to train within the NWSL once more, however Wilkinson does not solution, in keeping with Farrelly’s account.

January 2016
The Western New York Flash, some other NWSL group, considers Riley to be the membership’s new head trainer. Aaran Lines, vice chairman of the Flash seeks a referral from Wilkinson, a former teammate of Lines’ at the Portland Timbers and the New Zealand nationwide group.

Wilkinson tells Lines that the Flash must rent Riley if they’ve the danger, and Wilkinson “would hire him in a heartbeat.” Wilkinson does point out Shim’s allegations, however suggests Shim is a “disgruntled player” and tells Lines that Riley “was put in a bad position by the player,” in step with the Yates file.



Alex Morgan finds the level of former trainer Paul Riley’s verbal abuse towards his gamers on this bonus clip from E60: Truth Be Told, now to be had on ESPN+.

Feb. 19, 2016
The Flash announce Riley as the following head trainer. “After matching up with him for many years, I’m thrilled to announce Paul Riley as the second coach in our club’s eight-year history,” Lines stated.

March 2016
Paulson emails the president of the Flash: “Best of luck this season and congrats on the Riley hire. I have a lot of affection for him.”

Jan. 9, 2017
Stephen Malik, a businessman and proprietor of a USL males’s football group in Cary, North Carolina, declares he has purchased the Western New York Flash, and he’s going to relocate the group and rename it the North Carolina Courage.

Jan. 30, 2017
The Courage announce Riley would be the membership’s first-ever head trainer.

Before opting for to rent Riley, Malik reached out to Paulson at the recommendation of Gulati. Paulson by no means instructed Malik that Riley were fired and stated Riley were investigated for “poor judgement” when gamers got here to Riley’s condominium after an evening of consuming, in step with the Yates file. Paulson additionally reportedly instructed Malik that Riley used to be “a good fit” for the roster on the Courage.

Malik requested Plush for a duplicate of the Thorns investigation file, and Plush didn’t proportion it.

Oct. 8-14, 2017
As the Courage and the Thorns face one some other within the NWSL playoffs, Paulson and Riley have interaction in pleasant public banter on social media and reward one some other, which they are going to proceed to do publicly for years.

July 30, 2019
Jill Ellis declares she is going to step down as head trainer of the U.S. ladies’s nationwide group.

July 31, 2019
In a recorded section for ESPN, former U.S. ladies’s nationwide group defender and analyst Kate Markgraf offers her shortlist of applicants for the vacant put up of the U.S. ladies’s nationwide group head trainer. Riley, who had reached two NWSL championships with the Courage, is without doubt one of the names.

Aug. 12, 2019
Markgraf is introduced as U.S. Soccer’s first basic supervisor for the ladies’s nationwide group program. Her first duty is to rent the following USWNT trainer.

Aug. 14, 2019
Representatives for the U.S. ladies’s nationwide group gamers’ union, the USWNTPA, touch U.S. Soccer criminal recommend Lydia Wahlke and inform her that the gamers would no longer fortify Riley as trainer because of his previous in Portland. Wahlke communicates this to the Thorns.

That identical day, Paulson and Malik have a telephone dialog to talk about that it will “be a good idea” if Riley withdrew from the operating for the nationwide activity. Per the Yates file, Paulson does no longer explicitly state why, regardless that — messages display Paulson nonetheless tried to stay the truth that Riley were fired a secret from Malik, with Paulson explaining: “Paul’s contract was up when he left us and we didn’t renew it. A technicality but a distinction.”

Aug. 20, 2019
Riley declares on Twitter that he isn’t within the USWNT activity. Malik stocks the inside track on his personal Twitter account and provides: “Courage country should be smiling.”

March 15, 2021
Shim sends her 2015 criticism about Riley to Lisa Baird, Plush’s everlasting successor as NWSL commissioner. Shim notes she had despatched it to Plush, however Riley remains to be training within the league, and she or he is soliciting for a brand new investigation so the NWSL “will finally enact the necessary protective measures that current players are entitled to have in the workplace.”

Baird replied through thanking Shim for the e-mail, however she neglected the request to reinvestigate.

April 28, 2021
Farrelly emails Baird inquiring for Riley to be reinvestigated for the reason that Thorns by no means adopted up on allegations Farrelly shared all over the membership’s 2015 investigation into Riley.

“No one from either the team or the NWSL ever independently investigated my allegations that I raised in the 2015 investigation, despite their serious nature,” Farrelly wrote. She provides that she is “deeply concerned for the safety of current players given that Mr. Riley continues to coach in the NWSL.”

May 5, 2021
Baird responds to Farrelly’s e-mail and tells her that “the initial complaint was investigated to conclusion” and, “Unfortunately, I cannot share any additional details.” She closes her reaction: “Thank you again for your email and I wish you the best.”

Sept. 7, 2021
Malik texts Baird that Riley had resigned from his place with the Courage because of his anger over the league’s scheduling.

Sept. 8, 2021
Baird texts Malik: “I had a long talk with [Riley] and I strongly urged him not to resign and I am glad you didn’t accept it.”



Former NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird discusses her reaction to Mana Shim’s allegations of sexual coercion through Paul Riley. The documentary, E60: Truth Be Told, is to be had now on ESPN+.

Sept. 30, 2021
The Athletic publishes a piece of writing through which Shim and Farrelly proportion publicly for the primary time their studies with Riley, together with allegations of predatory sexual harassment and coercion, in addition to different irrelevant habits. Riley denies any wrongdoing.

The Courage hearth Riley in a while after the item is printed. “In light of today’s reports, the North Carolina Courage have terminated head coach Paul Riley, effective immediately, following serious allegations of misconduct,” a remark stated.

Baird problems a remark, pronouncing she is “shocked and disgusted to read the new allegations reported in The Athletic.” In reaction, Alex Morgan, who had helped Shim report her criticism with the Thorns in 2015, stocks screenshots of Baird’s e-mail trade with Farrelly.

Oct. 1, 2021
The NWSL Players Association and gamers across the league announce video games will probably be canceled that weekend.

“Yesterday was a profoundly painful day for us, as players, and so many. For many players, the pain has stretched across years,” an NWSLPA remark reads. “The outpouring of support we have felt has been a beacon of light on a dark day.”

Baird problems her personal remark saying the verdict to delay video games: “This week, and much of this season, has been incredibly traumatic for our players and staff, and I take full responsibility for the role I have played. I am so sorry for the pain so many are feeling.”

Hours later, Baird resigns as NWSL commissioner.

Oct. 4, 2021
Paulson problems an open letter in accordance with The Athletic’s article, declaring that the Timbers and Thorns “disavow the culture of silence that may have allowed for additional victimization by a predatory coach.” He admits the membership “made an opaque announcement about not renewing Riley’s contract as opposed to explicitly announcing his termination,” however says the membership used to be “guided by what we, at the time, thought was the right thing to do out of respect for player privacy.”

Paulson vows to habits an investigation into how the membership treated the 2015 criticism towards Riley, and he provides: “Whatever findings result from this review, I commit to you, we will make public in summary form.”

Oct. 6, 2021
Malik problems a remark through which he says anyone confident him Riley used to be tremendous to rent: “When we bought the Western NY Flash in 2017, we conducted due diligence to continue with Mr. Riley and the coaching staff. We were made aware of an investigation into Mr. Riley’s behavior in 2015 and were subsequently assured that he was in good standing.” When media, in accordance with his remark, ask who supplied the ones assurances, Malik does no longer go back requests for rationalization.

Malik’s remark continues: “During his employment with the Courage, we had no knowledge of allegations of sexual harassment or coercion.”

After Thorns gamers factor a suite of calls for, the membership puts Wilkinson on administrative go away from Thorns tasks simplest. He continues in his position for the Portland Timbers.

Jan. 25, 2022
The Thorns shut their investigation into the Riley ordeal with out interviewing any gamers. Wilkinson is reinstated to a task overseeing the Thorns because the Timbers/Thorns “president of soccer.” When requested through the media, the membership declines to make the result of the investigation public.

Oct. 3, 2022
U.S. Soccer’s yearlong investigation carried out through former deputy U.S. legal professional basic Sally Yates is launched. The file says the Thorns didn’t cooperate with the investigation and the membership refused to proportion its 2015 investigation into Riley and tampered with witnesses who had agreed to talk with investigators.

The file finds that Paulson had warnings about Riley previous to Shim’s criticism that he didn’t act on. Players file that each Paulson and Wilkinson made sexist, demeaning and/or irrelevant feedback to Thorns gamers and feminine body of workers.

Oct. 10, 2018
The Washington Post stories {that a} native tech government, Steve Baldwin, is in talks to shop for the Washington Spirit from the landlord who based the membership in 2013. Neither the membership nor the NWSL officially declares the sale, however through December, Baldwin has taken keep watch over of the group.

Dec. 27, 2018
Reports emerge that Baldwin has determined on Richie Burke because the Spirit’s new head trainer, and Baldwin reportedly didn’t imagine any person else for the location.

Burke, a neighborhood formative years trainer within the D.C. space, hasn’t ever controlled a certified group, however he had coached Baldwin’s daughter, Carlyn, when she used to be in highschool taking part in for National Cathedral School.

Jan. 4, 2019
The Spirit announce Larry Best because the membership’s new CEO. Best has no enjoy operating a certified sports activities group, however he had coached Baldwin’s daughter, Carlyn, when she performed for a neighborhood formative years academy group within the D.C. space.

Jan. 8, 2019
The Spirit formally announce Burke because the membership’s new head trainer.

Feb. 25, 2019
A guardian of a boy who were coached through Burke at FC Virginia speaks out on social media, alleging that Burke used “homophobic slurs” and engaged in “disturbing coaching behavior,” which led to boys at the group in the hunt for “medical intervention for the abuse.” In interviews with native newshounds, the guardian confirms the similar main points and says Burke berated the men.

The Spirit factor a remark pronouncing they’ve appeared into the allegations and are conscious about an investigation that came about when Burke coached at FC Virginia, however that different folks have been satisfied with Burke’s training.

“What we have learned from FC Virginia and from Coach Burke is that at time of the issue, FC Virginia investigated the matter and determined no action was necessary,” the remark says. It provides: “As attention to this incident grew online, we were very pleased to receive support from numerous parents who have worked with Coach Burke throughout the years, including many from parents of this FC Virginia team.”

March 6, 2019
Another former participant of Burke’s from D.C. United’s under-23 group alleges that Burke used to be abusive as a trainer. Burke would use anti-gay language and insults towards individuals of the group, the participant stated.

D.C. United problems a remark pronouncing that Burke had labored for D.C. United formative years groups in just a transient capability and he “was never an employee of D.C. United,” however the membership used to be no longer conscious about any allegations from his time with D.C. United’s academy groups.

April 9, 2019
Baldwin problems his first remark as the brand new proprietor of the Spirit and recognizes formally for the primary time the membership’s sale.

“I come to the Washington Spirit as a father of two daughters, one that plays the game. So, yes, I am a soccer dad,” he writes. Being a football dad, he provides, offers him “an understanding of the feelings a parent has when their adult daughter moves across the country or the planet to start their professional career with the Spirit in a new place with new people. I’m mindful in all we do that our players have soccer parents, just like me, that care most about the lives of their daughters off the pitch.”

May 26, 2019
Burke is requested through a reporter if he plans to deal with with his present Spirit gamers the allegations that he had in the past used homophobic slurs. “Not really because I’ve got no interest in showing a bias in any way,” he says. “It’s not a metric I think about. I think about people — I like people.”

Dec. 29, 2020
Y. Michele Kang, a neighborhood CEO of a tech corporate, is introduced as a brand new minority stakeholder within the Spirit’s possession workforce after buying 35% of the group. “I believe it is essential for successful women to take the lead in advancing other women, and I look forward to doing so for the women of the Washington Spirit,” she says in a remark.

Aug. 10, 2021
The Spirit announce that Burke has stepped down as head trainer and has been “re-assigned” to the membership’s entrance place of work because of well being issues.

“Yesterday Richie advised me of some health concerns,” Best says in a remark, “and we mutually agreed that it was in the best interests of him and of the club for him to step down as our coach. Once Richie’s health improves, he will join the sporting operations front office staff.”

Aug. 11, 2021
The Washington Post releases a file that comes with interviews from present and previous Spirit gamers alleging abuse from Burke.

Kaiya McCullough is the one participant to permit her title for use within the article — she says she left the Spirit because of Burke’s emotional and verbal abuse. McCullough and different gamers say Burke referred to as the gamers “dog s—” and “a waste of space,” amongst different insults. McCullough alleges that Burke many times made racially insensitive remarks, joking to a Black participant who were hit within the eye that “Black eyes matter.” After George Floyd’s homicide, Burke joked that, for {a photograph} of gamers kneeling at the box, they must pose with an inflatable dummy beneath their knees.

After being contacted through the reporter, Baldwin problems a remark vowing an investigation. “We, as a team, will not tolerate any situation for our players and staff that is less than professional,” he writes. “Our athletes, and all of those who support them, deserve the absolute best.”

The NWSL starts engaging in an investigation.



Kaiya McCullough finds why running beneath former trainer Richie Burke left her in need of to hand over the Washington Spirit. The documentary E60: Truth Be Told is to be had now on ESPN+.

Aug. 13, 2021
Kang and NWSL commissioner Lisa Baird are observed looking at a Spirit recreation in combination. After the Post’s article, Kang had flown in a non-public jet to fulfill with Baird, and each met with gamers after the sport.

Aug. 30, 2021
An influence battle for keep watch over of the Spirit between Baldwin and Kang turns into public. Baldwin had presented to promote the group to Kang in April 2021 after she raised issues concerning the course of the membership, however he later modified his thoughts.

In an e-mail to NWSL homeowners, Baldwin had accused Kang of meddling within the group’s “day-to-day affairs” and “compromising” the group’s messaging, and he alleged that she met with Baird after the Post article to drive him out of operating the membership.

Sept. 2, 2021
The Spirit announce that Ben Olsen has been employed as membership president. In his position, he’s going to “oversee all day-to-day operations, driving the development of the team’s business and sporting operations, and the overall effort to enhance the club’s culture and identity.”

Olsen has no enjoy in ladies’s football, and he comes into his new position after a decade as head trainer of MLS group D.C. United.

Sept. 4, 2021
A neighborhood D.C. sports activities radio host tweets that Kang is being investigated beneath the NWSL’s new anti-harassment coverage. Reporters, following up on that tweet, be told that it used to be Best who had lodged the criticism towards Kang.

Shortly after, the sports activities radio host additionally tweets that assets have instructed him a “dumpling making party” hosted through Kang, who’s Asian-American, “is believed” to have led to an ongoing COVID-19 outbreak throughout the Spirit group, which pressured them to forfeit a recreation. Reports later expose that the outbreak in truth came about after one in every of a number of unvaccinated gamers at the group traveled and didn’t practice isolation protocols.

Sept. 22, 2021
A brand new Washington Post investigation finds what staff name a “misogynistic” “old boys’ club” at that Spirit.

The file main points a number of high-ranking feminine staffers who’ve lately hand over. Sources allege Best had demeaning nicknames for gamers and feminine staff, together with “Mexican Mama” and “Japanese Girl,” and he many times joked that one participant must be referred to as “Dumb Broad.” An inner survey from months prior had discovered that gamers and body of workers felt misogyny used to be an issue.

Sept. 28, 2021
The NWSL concludes its investigation into Burke, and the league declares that he’s not allowed to train within the NWSL. The NWSL’s board of governors, which is made up of householders from groups all through the league, voted for the verdict.

“After considering the substance of the report, and taking into account prior actions of the Spirit, the NWSL’s board of governors has determined that the Spirit and its ownership have failed to act in the best interests of the league,” an NWSL remark says.

Oct. 5, 2021
Baldwin declares that, on the request of Spirit gamers, he is resigning as CEO and “Managing Partner” of the Spirit, and Olsen can have complete authority over membership operations. “I hope that stepping back removes me as a distraction and allows the club to thrive,” he says.

Hours later, the Spirit’s gamers unencumber a joint remark asking Baldwin to promote the membership to Kang, and so they criticize Baldwin for appointing Olsen as his substitute.

“When we asked you to step aside, step back from management, we clearly meant you should not retain any management control. We are sure you understand that,” the remark says. “You still have a firm grip as majority owner on the decisions that need to be made at the club, even if they are made from behind a veil. In your final act as Managing Partner, you passed the baton to someone who has virtually no experience in the role you left to him. … We don’t have a reason to believe you won’t be involved.”

“Let us be clear. The person we trust is Michele,” the gamers proceed. “She continuously puts players’ needs and interests first. She listens.” The gamers end through asking Baldwin to “please sell to Michele at a reasonable price.”

Oct. 29, 2021
In an e-mail to membership body of workers, Best resigns from his position as president of wearing operations for the Spirit. The NWSL’s investigation discovered Best were conscious about the allegations towards Burke.

Nov. 20, 2021
The Spirit win the NWSL Championship, the membership’s first trophy because it began taking part in in 2013.

Dec. 14, 2021
After Baldwin had entered unique negotiations to promote the Spirit to Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly for $25 million, Kang informs the NWSL board of governors that she has higher her be offering to shop for Baldwin’s stocks of the Spirit to $35 million.

“I believe this is the highest offer, and is well above market given past sale prices to say the least,” she tells the NWSL board. “It is based on my strong commitment to the team and the NWSL as a whole, and will be accompanied by additional investment into the club’s infrastructure.”

Jan. 11, 2022
Although the NWSL’s board of governors had subsidized Boehly to take over the Spirit, Kang sends an e-mail to the board saying that she has maneuvered her option to majority keep watch over of the Spirit with out Baldwin’s cooperation.

“As some of you may know, there are many league-approved investors in the Spirit who hold promissory notes convertible at their election into an equity stake in the club,” she opens the e-mail, sooner than explaining she and best friend buyers had obtained and transformed sufficient those notes to constitute a majority stake within the membership.

She provides to honor her $35 million valuation for Baldwin’s stocks and provides that Baldwin can’t promote his stocks to Boehly for $25 million: “Steve no longer has control of the team or the ability to dictate the terms of any sale.”

Jan. 25, 2022
Baldwin sends an e-mail to fellow Spirit buyers accusing Kang of “a coup attempt” for keep watch over of the membership. Baldwin accuses Kang of getting “secret meetings” with staffers and criticizes Kang’s dating with the gamers and their households.

Feb. 8, 2022
After Baldwin agreed to promote his stocks within the Spirit to Kang, the NWSL declares that the board has licensed the sale.

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