NRL embroiled in cover-up involving sex, drugs and a star player


Peter Parr from the Cowboys.Credit:Getty Images.

The man was distraught and furious when he discovered a message from the star player to his wife about their toilet tryst in the Qantas lounge which occurred on Father’s Day 2018.

Alarmed at what could become a public relations nightmare, the woman, who is employed by the Cowboys, contacted the club’s then football manager Peter Parr for help.

“On becoming aware of our client’s knowledge of the sexual act,” Mr Parr gave the husband prescription medication “to help him cope with the shock,” said Mr Sneddon in his complaint to the NRL, first lodged in October last year.

Unbeknown to the husband, the tablets Mr Parr gave him were Valium.

Dr Chris Ball wrote a medical certificate for the husband.

Dr Chris Ball wrote a medical certificate for the husband.

Mr Parr, who is currently the manager for the NSW State of Origin team, admitted to the Herald that he gave the husband the tablets. Mr Parr said that on the night of September 5 the husband was at Mr Parr’s home in a very distressed state.

Mr Parr denied that the tablets were his or that he knew they were Valium. He claimed he had “swung by the doc’s” place on the night to get something to help the husband sleep. “They weren’t mine. I don’t have Valium in the house. Panadol and cough medicine is all I have,” he said.

The husband, a long-haul truck driver, subsequently tested positive for benzodiazepine as part of a routine workplace drug test.

Dr Chris Ball, who runs a sports clinic and is the team doctor for both the Cowboys and the national team, came forward to claim – falsely – that he had personally consulted with the husband on the night of September 5, 2018.

“[The husband] had experienced a family crisis and was stressed and unable to sleep,” said Dr Ball in a medical certificate to be provided to the husband’s employer.

To explain the lack of any written prescription for the medication, Dr Ball stated in the medical certificate that he “does not prescribe benzodiazepine medication” and that on this occasion “I gave [the husband] a sample quantity of four diazepam [Valium]…tablets to help facilitate sleep.”

On September 25, Dr Ball was contacted by a medical officer on behalf of the truck driver’s employer. That doctor noted the “recent prescription for benzodiazepines on the background of acute crisis and poor sleep” and requested further information as to the “medical fitness” of the husband to continue his job as a truck driver.

On his Sports Clinic NQ letterhead, Dr Ball replied the same day, “I have not prescribed any more medication. He is sleeping well and is not needing ongoing treatment or medication.”

Guidelines issued by the Australian Medical Association, stipulate that “Doctors who deliberately issue a false, misleading or inaccurate certificate could face disciplinary action under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law.”

Mr Sneddon, whose client has never met Dr Ball, disputed Mr Parr’s claim that the football manager left his home late at night to go to Dr Ball’s premises to obtain medication for the husband.

Mr Sneddon has provided the medical certificates to the NRL and has informed the NRL’s integrity unit that Dr Ball is the subject of an investigation by the medical watchdog AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency).

AHPRA and the OHO said that due to “confidentiality provisions” they were unable to comment to the Herald on individual matters.

However, Mr Parr confirmed to the Herald that Dr Ball has been the subject of an inquiry by medical authorities and that he had provided the regulator with an account of what had occurred on the night. Dr Ball did not reply to the Herald’s emails and calls requesting comment.

In hindsight, said Mr Parr of his provision of Valium to the husband, “I wouldn’t do it again” but at the time he was dealing with “a very stressful situation.”

The couple’s relationship never recovered and at one stage the wife called police, expressing concerns for her and the player’s safety, following her husband’s discovery of the affair. No charges were laid.

Mr Parr, who was recently appointed to the Cowboys’ board after stepping down as the team’s manager, acknowledged that both he and Dr Ball should have informed the integrity unit about the investigation by Queensland medical authorities.

Registered NRL personnel have an obligation to report matters which may bring the game into disrepute. Given that engaging in a sex act in a public toilet is a potential criminal offence constituting an act of public indecency, Mr Parr also agreed he should have notified the integrity unit of the alleged inappropriate behaviour of the star player.

In his most recent letter to the integrity unit, dated 31 August, Mr Sneddon once again complained about the lack of action by the NRL, saying there was one rule for some players, and another rule for others.

He also noted that, since lodging the complaint more than a year ago, the NRL Integrity unit was able to investigate and impose penalties on players including Josh Addo-Carr, Latrell Mitchell and Nathan Cleary.

On October 9, the NRL informed Mr Sneddon that the matter would be “progressed” to an investigation. This came only days after explosive allegations about former Souths’ star Sam Burgess were published in The Australian. The allegations, denied by Burgess, included that in November 2018 Burgess, while on a drug-fuelled bender, was injected with a liquid tranquilliser by Souths’ club doctor Andrew McDonald who wrote out the prescription in another person’s name.

However, the NRL unit has claimed that a lack of co-operation on behalf of the complainant in the Cowboys’ matter has been the reason for the lengthy delay. “Where complaints are made to police or other regulatory bodies we are mindful not to prejudice or cut-across those processes with our own investigations,” said a spokesman for the NRL.

“The NRL will progress its investigation and is unable to provide further comment,” the spokesman said.

Neither the woman nor the player responded to requests for comment. The truck driver referred queries to his lawyer, Mr Sneddon, who said his client has been widely disparaged by the Cowboys in an attempt to discredit him. He said his client has lost everything.

In late 2018, the husband sent the following text message to the player’s wife.

“[Name removed], I know you wouldn’t like me texting you but I feel no one but you could understand how I am feeling. I only found out today [his wife] gets to keep her job at the Cowboys.

“I feel so gutted that nothing what her and [the player] have done after cheating on both of us over that Gold Coast weekend is fair. I have lost everything – my wife, family. I feel so worthless after what they have done but to know that they will still see each other at the club is so hurtful for me.

“I just can’t believe Parrie [Peter Parr] is covering [the truck driver’s wife’s] tracks and will still let her travel with the team. I feel like no one gives a f..k about how we might feel about it.

“I guess I should just realise I am nobody and not important to anybody especially to [his wife], the Cowboys and obviously [the player] who felt my wife was also his property. I won’t bother you ever again. I promise not to ring or text again. I am sorry. “

He received no reply.

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NRL embroiled in cover-up involving sex, drugs and a star player


Peter Parr from the Cowboys.Credit:Getty Images.

The man was distraught and furious when he discovered a message from the star player to his wife about their toilet tryst in the Qantas lounge which occurred on Father’s Day 2018.

Alarmed at what could become a public relations nightmare, the woman, who is employed by the Cowboys, contacted the club’s then football manager Peter Parr for help.

“On becoming aware of our client’s knowledge of the sexual act,” Mr Parr gave the husband prescription medication “to help him cope with the shock,” said Mr Sneddon in his complaint to the NRL, first lodged in October last year.

Unbeknown to the husband, the tablets Mr Parr gave him were Valium.

Dr Chris Ball wrote a medical certificate for the husband.

Dr Chris Ball wrote a medical certificate for the husband.

Mr Parr, who is currently the manager for the NSW State of Origin team, admitted to the Herald that he gave the husband the tablets. Mr Parr said that on the night of September 5 the husband was at Mr Parr’s home in a very distressed state.

Mr Parr denied that the tablets were his or that he knew they were Valium. He claimed he had “swung by the doc’s” place on the night to get something to help the husband sleep. “They weren’t mine. I don’t have Valium in the house. Panadol and cough medicine is all I have,” he said.

The husband, a long-haul truck driver, subsequently tested positive for benzodiazepine as part of a routine workplace drug test.

Dr Chris Ball, who runs a sports clinic and is the team doctor for both the Cowboys and the national team, came forward to claim – falsely – that he had personally consulted with the husband on the night of September 5, 2018.

“[The husband] had experienced a family crisis and was stressed and unable to sleep,” said Dr Ball in a medical certificate to be provided to the husband’s employer.

To explain the lack of any written prescription for the medication, Dr Ball stated in the medical certificate that he “does not prescribe benzodiazepine medication” and that on this occasion “I gave [the husband] a sample quantity of four diazepam [Valium]…tablets to help facilitate sleep.”

On September 25, Dr Ball was contacted by a medical officer on behalf of the truck driver’s employer. That doctor noted the “recent prescription for benzodiazepines on the background of acute crisis and poor sleep” and requested further information as to the “medical fitness” of the husband to continue his job as a truck driver.

On his Sports Clinic NQ letterhead, Dr Ball replied the same day, “I have not prescribed any more medication. He is sleeping well and is not needing ongoing treatment or medication.”

Guidelines issued by the Australian Medical Association, stipulate that “Doctors who deliberately issue a false, misleading or inaccurate certificate could face disciplinary action under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law.”

Mr Sneddon, whose client has never met Dr Ball, disputed Mr Parr’s claim that the football manager left his home late at night to go to Dr Ball’s premises to obtain medication for the husband.

Mr Sneddon has provided the medical certificates to the NRL and has informed the NRL’s integrity unit that Dr Ball is the subject of an investigation by the medical watchdog AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency).

AHPRA and the OHO said that due to “confidentiality provisions” they were unable to comment to the Herald on individual matters.

However, Mr Parr confirmed to the Herald that Dr Ball has been the subject of an inquiry by medical authorities and that he had provided the regulator with an account of what had occurred on the night. Dr Ball did not reply to the Herald’s emails and calls requesting comment.

In hindsight, said Mr Parr of his provision of Valium to the husband, “I wouldn’t do it again” but at the time he was dealing with “a very stressful situation.”

The couple’s relationship never recovered and at one stage the wife called police, expressing concerns for her and the player’s safety, following her husband’s discovery of the affair. No charges were laid.

Mr Parr, who was recently appointed to the Cowboys’ board after stepping down as the team’s manager, acknowledged that both he and Dr Ball should have informed the integrity unit about the investigation by Queensland medical authorities.

Registered NRL personnel have an obligation to report matters which may bring the game into disrepute. Given that engaging in a sex act in a public toilet is a potential criminal offence constituting an act of public indecency, Mr Parr also agreed he should have notified the integrity unit of the alleged inappropriate behaviour of the star player.

In his most recent letter to the integrity unit, dated 31 August, Mr Sneddon once again complained about the lack of action by the NRL, saying there was one rule for some players, and another rule for others.

He also noted that, since lodging the complaint more than a year ago, the NRL Integrity unit was able to investigate and impose penalties on players including Josh Addo-Carr, Latrell Mitchell and Nathan Cleary.

On October 9, the NRL informed Mr Sneddon that the matter would be “progressed” to an investigation. This came only days after explosive allegations about former Souths’ star Sam Burgess were published in The Australian. The allegations, denied by Burgess, included that in November 2018 Burgess, while on a drug-fuelled bender, was injected with a liquid tranquilliser by Souths’ club doctor Andrew McDonald who wrote out the prescription in another person’s name.

However, the NRL unit has claimed that a lack of co-operation on behalf of the complainant in the Cowboys’ matter has been the reason for the lengthy delay. “Where complaints are made to police or other regulatory bodies we are mindful not to prejudice or cut-across those processes with our own investigations,” said a spokesman for the NRL.

“The NRL will progress its investigation and is unable to provide further comment,” the spokesman said.

Neither the woman nor the player responded to requests for comment. The truck driver referred queries to his lawyer, Mr Sneddon, who said his client has been widely disparaged by the Cowboys in an attempt to discredit him. He said his client has lost everything.

In late 2018, the husband sent the following text message to the player’s wife.

“[Name removed], I know you wouldn’t like me texting you but I feel no one but you could understand how I am feeling. I only found out today [his wife] gets to keep her job at the Cowboys.

“I feel so gutted that nothing what her and [the player] have done after cheating on both of us over that Gold Coast weekend is fair. I have lost everything – my wife, family. I feel so worthless after what they have done but to know that they will still see each other at the club is so hurtful for me.

“I just can’t believe Parrie [Peter Parr] is covering [the truck driver’s wife’s] tracks and will still let her travel with the team. I feel like no one gives a f..k about how we might feel about it.

“I guess I should just realise I am nobody and not important to anybody especially to [his wife], the Cowboys and obviously [the player] who felt my wife was also his property. I won’t bother you ever again. I promise not to ring or text again. I am sorry. “

He received no reply.

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Archbishop of Canterbury slams ‘shameful’ Church of England cover-up


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“It didn’t come as a surprise,” Welby said, adding that the church had begun “a journey of change” that had fallen short.

“We have not gone quick enough or far enough yet,” he said.

A victims’ group said the church had a long way to go as it still dealt with too many allegations in-house and should also recognise life-long needs of those abused.

“It will take more than platitudes to rebuild trust in the church,” said the Minister And Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors group.

“Apologies and expressions of shame and sorrow are welcomed but what is needed is practical and well resourced action.”

‘Lack of care’

The Catholic Church has been similarly excoriated for belated action over decades of scandals around the world, though it has paid billions in damages and Pope Francis has urged an “all-out battle” against clerical child abuse.

Welby, who became archbishop in 2013, said he had known abuse was happening because of the case of a former bishop of Gloucester, who in 2015 pleaded guilty to indecent assault.

Peter Ball had suggested to victims that humiliation – including praying naked, masturbation and flagellation – was a teaching of St Francis and would bring closeness to God.

One of Ball’s victims took his own life years later.

“I was shocked by the level, when I came into this job, by the extent to which it was happening,” said Welby. “We have been poor at dealing with redress and dealing with the victims and the survivors. The whole lack of care in this is shocking.”

Welby said the Church had now overhauled internal systems to deal faster and better with allegations and to help victims.

The archbishop guides the entire Anglican Communion of 85 million believers worldwide.

Reuters

Kids Helpline 1800 551 800, Lifeline 13 11 14, National Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Counselling Service 1800 RESPECT

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The Morrison Government’s robodebt cover-up lies


Rather than offer an apology, Scott Morrison has shifted the blame for the robodebt scandal to a welfare principle used by both parties, writes John Maycock.

WHEN PRIME MINISTER Scott Morrison, or “Scotty from Marketing”, came out to defend the Government’s robodebt fraud/extortion racket he certainly had his Liar from the Shire hat on — though it could be argued he never takes it off.

Scotty’s defence was a deflection – in my book, technically a lie – declaring that ‘previous Labor and Liberal governments had used income averaging’.

However, I suggest that income averaging is not the core of the issue.

Consider that, according to Bill Shorten:

‘…under Labor it was only ever used as a “red flag”, all “automated interventions” were followed up by human beings…’

Indeed, here is then social services minister Christian Porter in January 2017 defending robodebt:

“It really is an incredibly reasonable process, the question is why wasn’t the previous government, Labor, when they were in charge, engaging in this process.”

Ironically, Porter must have forgotten he had drawn that line between robodebt and the previous Labor processes when in May 2020 he said this:

“In this instance, we used a method that had been used for many years.

 

…many governments have used ATO averaging… Labor and Liberal.”

Consider, Porter was either lying in 2017 or he and Scotty are being less than honest now.

The issue is not a flagbot (income averaging), the issue is robodebt and the MSM have mostly missed this point. Previous governments may have used flagbots, but they did not use robodebt — which Scotty is tasked with defending.

Why would Scotty want to cop the rap for a flagbot and shift the narrative away from robodebt (apart from the obvious)? Whose idea was it to plug a flagbot straight into robodebt? To remove human oversight and coerce those left doing any manual checking into turning a blind eye to the discrepancies?

Porter was minister for social services when a flagbot was plugged into robodebt full time in July 2016, however the erroneous debts they are owning up to go back to July 2015. It seems that in 2015, they had been sending out robodebts on a more limited basis — perhaps to test the waters, dropping more and more debts without human oversight into the system.

It does appear that estimates of the numbers of possible erroneous debts at the time are based on compliance officer’s samplings rather than audits of all debts raised.

So where does this lead to? Sometime in early 2015, someone was looking at the ongoing upgrading of the previous system where the red-flagged accounts had been assessed by compliance officers for flawed data matching. This is when what would be erroneous debts were filtered out.

Now it seems a flagbot (or an upgraded version) was capable of pushing out 20,000 red flags a week, amounting to millions of dollars in possible (notional?) debts. Consider that although some debts were completely false, it’s probable that most debts were overinflated. However, with compliance checks in place, it was taking a year to generate 20,000 properly vetted/accurate debt notices — and, of course, the number of actual debts and the notional dollar signs fell.

This is where someone ‘keen to push ahead with the automation of debts’ ran into a problem with the new algorithms; the ICT experts’ proposal had included a manual component to the new automated system. Yet ‘ICT rais[ing] concerns of accuracy of the debt calculated if [the] manual step is not included within the process’ suggests that this step was left out. This manual step would likely be compliance checks and here, the answer should have been to recruit more compliance officers in order to achieve more throughout.

However, that wouldn’t suit an ideology wedded to getting rid of public servants — it would cost more while it would still reduce the projected notional debts. Rather, this was seen as an opportunity for some creative accounting, a chance to ramp up the smearing of welfare recipients and to get rid of more public servants. For an ambitious unscrupulous rising star, this was political mileage waiting to be made.

That rising star arrived as social services minister in December 2014, fresh from (apparently) stopping the boats, happy to be touted by the press as coming to stop the bludgers — Scotty from Marketing.

In any case, human oversight was removed and that creative accounting soon showed up in the Government’s fiscal claims, declaring there are billions of dollars being recouped from the bludging welfare rorters.

In December 2015, the Government was defending their MYEFO predicted income of nearly $2 billion due to Enhanced Welfare Payment Integrity debt recovery.

According to Porter, having taken over as social services minister:

“Previous measures that we put in place [were] starting to bear the fruit…”

That would be measures put in place when Scotty (who had by then become treasurer) was minister for social services. This was around the time they started claiming they would save $1.7 billion over five years due to – you guessed it – ‘boosting the department’s… debt recovery capability’.

Then come June 2016 we have this:

‘Just four days out from the election, the Coalition has found $2.3 billion from yet another “crackdown” on welfare recipients and pensioners…’

Now I believe these projected billions in savings (the Government consistently refers to recouping debt as savings) were based on the erroneous robodebts — the money never existed. Indeed, when Alan Tudge was exposed for claiming $300 million had been recouped (in a previous six months), when in fact the number only related to the amount identified as debt, it seems it was probably erroneous robodebts that he was referring to.

Catharine Murphy pinned it down last year:

‘Robodebt was hatched for a simple, clinical purpose: to return money to the budget at a time when the budget was firmly in the red.

 

Robodebt was about supplying magic billions to the bottom line.’

The trouble is, it appears that a lot of those billions only ever existed on paper.

Then Scotty takes over social services, during which time the creative accounting scam is hatched, before moving on to the treasurer position. For the next four years, the inflated robodebts are used in fiscal outlooks and budgets — persisting in the face of ongoing advice that the robodebts were not just chronically inflated but also unlawful.

No, the crime was not income averaging per se,the crime was plugging a flagbot directly into robodebt. And now Scotty as prime minister gives faux apologies on behalf of the Government while he muddies the waters in regards to the real crime — a crime that appears to have Scotty’s fingerprints all over it.

In the end, the question becomes this: will Scotty from Marketing be brought to justice, or will the Crime Minister manage to lie his way out of trouble again?

You can follow John Maycock on Twitter @L3ftyJohn.

Support independent journalism Subscribe to IA.

 





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Collaery cover-up gets legal blessing, but is Labor starting to do its job?


As the federal government scores a gain in its shameful secret prosecution of Bernard Collaery, it would seem like Labor is at last commencing to wake up.

Witness K’s lawyer Bernard Collaery (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

It looks as even though Attorney-General Christian Porter will be prosperous in protecting his deal with-up of the Howard government’s criminal offense of bugging the cupboard space of Timor-Leste in 2004 to benefit political donor Woodside, with an ACT justice of the peace granting Porter’s software that areas of the prosecution of Bernard Collaery be held at the rear of closed doors for countrywide protection explanations.

That also indicates that, in a Kafkaesque absurdity, Porter will be permitted to use files towards Collaery that Collaery and his legal expression are prohibited from looking at.

ACT Supreme Court docket magistrate David Mossop dominated in Porter’s favour on Friday immediately after quite a few times of key hearings that some media outlets have shied away from reporting. Previous foreign minister Gareth Evans, previous main of the defence power Chris Barrie and former ambassador to Indonesia John McCarthy all gave evidence as part of Collaery’s case in opposition to Porter’s application.





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The WHO will exonerate itself and China in the ‘biggest coverup of our generation’



The World Health Organisation has lied to the world countless times but it now asks us to have faith in its objectivity.

Its leader Tedros Adhanom has lost any privilege of trust after heaping praise on China in the early days of the coronavirus crisis even though the communist superpower jailed whistle-blowers, deployed widespread censoring of social media and told the world the virus could not be transmitted from human-to-human.

The delays this misinformation caused killed hundreds and thousands of people, an indisputable fact that is backed by research which was commissioned by Bill Gates himself – the WHO’s chief private donor.

It is disgraceful that Adhanom can be involved in investigating his own actions in any capacity given what he has to lose and given the blatant propaganda videos his team has produced about how well he personally handled the response.

WHO staff edited inspirational music over his speeches to the world all while virus steadily killed victim after victim.

It would be poor timing to produce such self-promotional videos years after the crisis had ended, let alone smack bang in the middle of the carnage.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has attempted to sell the World Health Assembly resolution as a victory for truth, but in reality, it has all the hallmarks of a coverup of one of the biggest scandals in modern history.

Perhaps Mr Morrison’s earlier strong words condemning China and calling for a specific probe into Wuhan labs were cautioned by intelligence operatives who sense the ramifications of growing diplomatic unease.

Perhaps he was swayed by the banal utterances of Labor politicians such as Anthony Albanese who want Australians not to ask China tough questions so that trade can continue unimpeded.

Perhaps he understands that China’s tentacles have so efficiently entangled themselves in international bodies that this is simply the best outcome that could be achieved.

Whatever the reason, he was wrong.

It was a disastrous outcome that allowed Chinese President Xi Jinping to grandstand on the world stage as he announced a $2 billion aid package and re-positioned himself and his country as a caring world leader.

“We must always put the people first, for nothing in the world is more precious than people’s lives,” Dictator Xi said to a quiet applause.

“We need to deploy medical expertise and critical supplies to places where they are needed the most.

“China calls on the international community to increase political and financial support for WHO so as to mobilize resources worldwide to defeat the virus.”

President Xi walked away from the WHA with the biggest PR bump he could have dreamed of.

This so-called independent inquiry will clear China and the WHO of all wrong-doing and both will laud it over the world as evidence Australians and Americans were being xenophobic in our distrust.

The correct response came from US President Donald Trump who unleashed hell on Adhanom in a five-page letter which eloquently listed all erroneous statements the WHO had made and threatened to permanently withdraw funding unless changes were made.

Among the more egregious errors the WHO made was the decision to not declare a global health emergency on January 22 at a time the virus was already in more than 80 different countries. 

And when it finally declared the international alert on January 30 the virus had now spread to 114 countries and killed 4000 people. That we know of.

The reason for the delay?

As Sky News Australia exclusively reported at the time, there were “divergent” views on January 22 with some experts at the Geneva meeting calling for the alert to be issued and others listening to China’s assurances the virus could not be transmitted human-to-human.

The WHO admitted the mistake to this journalist in writing via emails after a lengthy and evasive back and forward.

So much for transparency.

And even worse, on January 30, when the WHO did finally issue that declaration, it told countries not to ban travel to China.

This was a few days after Adhanom met in person with Xi Jinping who, according to multiple media reports, told the WHO leader not to close off lucrative trade and tourism pathways by advocating for travel bans.

Adhanom complied with the request of the man who campaigned for his election to the position of WHO General Manager, successfully knocking the British candidate out of the race.

Australia banned travel anyway and, as Donald Trump rightly pointed out in his letter, so did his administration.

It should be clear to any objective eye that major mistakes were made early on but this is not the most irksome aspect of the crisis.

Mistakes happen but It is the sheer arrogance in the way the WHO issued statements praising a country which was clearly lying.

We must all carefully analyse any inquiry findings to ensure both parties do not manage to rewrite history as the world’s saviors.



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