standard-title Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame

2014 INDUCTEES

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Ladislav Grunt (CZE)

Coach, Streethockey Builder
“There is no unachievable goal or plan. You just need to think hard about how to go about it and then be patient. To stop at nothing, organize everything well, and it will go well,” Ladislav Grunt used to say.

He was an active sportsman throughout his life. He used to play ice-hockey on a competitive level, and he was also the founder of ball hockey in the Louny district, in the region of Ústí nad Labem. Thanks to him people now play ball hockey in Louny and Žatec. He had a big heart, and not only with regard to ball hockey. He was also an excellent life mentor.

First, he used to be a successful ball hockey coach, before becoming an official. And he was successful again – thanks to him, ball hockey gained many new perspectives, he helped organize world tournaments, and managed the association's activity in the region. He became a chairman of the Regional Ball Hockey Federation for Northern Bohemia, and a board member of the Czech Ball Hockey Federation (ČMSHb).

On 18th March 2014, at the age of sixty-six, he lost his long battle with an insidious disease.
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Raymond W. Leclerc (CAN)

Ball Hockey Builder
The American Street Hockey Institute would like to nominate Raymond W. Leclerc to the ISBHF Hall of Fame.

Forty-five years ago, Raymond W. Leclerc had a vision of an entirely new sport: ice hockey played without ice.

Calling on his love of hockey, his Canadian heritage and 20 years of toy manufacturing experience, he created the street hockey concept. In 1970, he launched the Mylec Corporation, a company dedicated to the development and manufacture of products designed specifically for hockey action without ice. The first products to be produced were a plastic blade as well as a plastic puck. Driveways, parking lots and school yards became accessible arenas for pick-up games. With momentum guiding Mylec, off-ice hockey gear was developed to fulfill the player’s protective needs. The games were adjusted for playing conditions and participation continued to grow. Inspired by the acceptance of the first off-ice equipment, Raymond Leclerc and the Mylec team began development of additional specialized products.

As the game prospered, it became apparent that the puck was awkward to play with and difficult to control. Thus, the orange no-bounce ball was developed to replace the puck. The orange ball is perhaps the most significant breakthrough in the development of the game of street hockey.

Over time, the need for inexpensive specialized protective equipment became clear. Once again, the Mylec development team led by Raymond Leclerc succeeded in creating innovative forms of shin pads, elbow pads, helmets, and goalie equipment designed specifically for the street hockey player.

The first commercial street hockey center was designed and built by Raymond Leclerc in the mid-seventies. This center was intended to be a model for future street hockey centers as well as the central headquarters for all matters pertaining to street hockey.

A few years later, Raymond Leclerc created the American Street Hockey Institute to help grow and govern the sport of street hockey, ball hockey and dekhockey in the United States.

Over the years through Raymond’s vision, ASHI has run clinics and tournaments that have touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children.

Raymond was a huge contributor in finances, time, hard work and creative vision to help the sport be where it is today. We ALL owe Raymond Leclerc a huge pat on the back for everything he has done for this great game.

This would be a great honor for him to be inducted into the ISBHF Hall of Fame.

Ricky Laperriere ASHI Director
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Martin Miklík (SVK)

Forward
How many WC/WJC participated in?

WC 1996
WC 1999
WC Masters 2012
WC Masters 2014

Years retired since last WC played?
Last WC played in 1999 in Zvolen

More:
Martin Miklík is 1999 World Champion from zvolen, Slovakia and Bronze medalist from 1996 WC in Bratislava.

Winner of the European Cup for clubs in 1996 in Villach, Austria and in 1997 in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Silver medalist in the European Cup for clubs in 1998 Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic and in 1999 Villach, Austria.

4th place in the masters WC in 2012 Pilsen, Czech Republic and 2014 in Tampa, Florida.
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Peter Tóth (SVK)

Forward
How many WC/WJC participated in?
WC 1998
WC 1999
WC 2003
WC 2005
WC 2007
WC 2009
WC 2011

Years of elite participation at National level?
Peter Toth played in Slovak extraleague in the teams e.g. Kovošrot Bratislava, Priemstav Bratislava, ŠK Tigri Ružinov, LG Bratislava since 1990. The end of his career and last season was the season 2011/12 – together 22 seasons in the Slovak Ball Hockey extraleague.

Years retired since last WC played? Last WC played in 2011 in Bratislava

More:
Peter was a very good player, very speedy with hard shoot.

Peter Toth played Ball Hockey in the highest Slovak Ball Hockey league unbelievable 22 seasons.

In the years 2008 and 2010 he was Slovak Ball Hockey Champions with team LG Bratislava.

Short and compact, Marchese ability to change direction and dart into holes which would devastate defences were his calling card. His deadly one time shot left goalies bewildered.

Peter is World Champion from 1999 World Senior Ball Hockey Championships in Zvolen, Slovakia.

Peter is World Champion from the 1st World Masters Ball Hockey Championships in 2010 in Bratislava, Slovakia.

In the years 1998 and 2005 was Peter Toth Silver medalist at the World Senior Championships and Bronze medalist in the senior WC in the years 2003, 2007, 2009 and 2011.

Peer Toth is bronze medalist from the European championships in Most Czech Republic in 2000.

Peter Toth won also in the year 2002 with team Ruzinov Bratislava World Cup for Clubs in Rosenheim, Germany and in the year 2001 European Cup in Oberaudorf.
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Paolo Musto (CAN)

# 12 Center/Defenceman
Born August 12, 1970
Paolo grew up playing high level ice hockey and soccer. Combining his passion for both sports, his love for ball hockey took over. Paolo, along with his brothers and friends, developed his skills playing ball hockey every night after supper in the New Bordeaux area which is a municipality of Montreal.

At the age of 17 years old, Paolo began his journey as one of ballhockey’s finest players to play the game. His ability to turn on a dime, use of his explosive speed along with possessing a blistering precise slap shot is only part of what his total skill set involves .Apart from his fine tuned mechanics,Paolo takes pride on how well he perceives the game. His knowledge of making quick and sharp decisions not only made him great as a player but many around him as well. Along his path, Paolo played in the same team as his older two brothers Marco & Luigi called the New Bordeaux Devils and won his first provincial championship allowing them to represent Quebec in his first Canadian Championship in 1986 Halifax.After that, he moved on to play with his friends with a team called ‘La Team’.

In 1989, the Black Knights came knocking at his door, but the timing wasn’t right just yet. The Black Knights had to wait until 1992 for Paolo to join the team. He participated at the nationals in 1996 as a Black Knight player.

In1994-1995, Paolo took a sabbatical year to open up his restaurant in Little Italy, Cafe Epoca.

In 1996, Paolo re-joined the Black Knights. He was chosen for men Team Canada in 1996 for the inaugural World Championship in Bratislava, Slovakia , but unfortunately work kept him from going.

In the time frame of 1996-2015, Paolo and the Black Knights attended National Championships all over Canada, winning a well deserved Gold in 2008, where he was also voted MVP of the tournament,5 silver and 3 bronze medals . Paolo has been the Captain of the Black Knights for almost a decade and his love for his team and game still remains strong.

Paolo was also a key player for men Team Canada from 1998-2013.

His achievements are listed below:
1998 (Czech Republic): Alternate Captain, Won Bronze Medal- Voted Best Forward
1999 (Slovakia): Alternate Captain, Won Silver Medal
2000 (Germany): Alternate Captain, Won Gold Medal- Voted Best Forward
2001 (Toronto): Alternate Captain, Won Gold Medal
2003 (Switzerland): Alternate Captain, Won Gold Medal
2005 (USA): Alternate Captain, Won Gold Medal
2007 (Germany): Co Captain, Won Gold Medal
2009 (Czech Republic): Co Captain
2011 (Slovakia): Co Captain, Won Silver Medal
2013 (Newfoundland): Co Captain, Won Bronze Medal
When Paolo turned 40, in 2010, he became eligible to be a part of the Masters Team Canada. He was recruited that year for the World Championship in Slovakia. See below for his achievements.
2010 (Slovakia): Captain, Won Silver medal, Voted MVP
2012 (Czech Republic): Captain, Won Bronze medal, Voted Best Forward
2014 (USA):for Men Masters Team Canada Captain, Won Gold medal, Voted MVP

As a Black Knight, Paolo has won 11 provincial championships 1996,1997,1998,1999,2000,2003,2006,2007,2008,2009 & 2011 along with 8 winter titles.

In conclusion, Paolo would like to express his gratitude and thank everyone who supported him along the way.His friends,parents,brothers and his close family and players .Playing on the same team as Hall of Famer goaltender Michel Perodeau Black Knights /Team Canada was a great honor and of course the builders of the game.

Quebec Ball Hockey Association President Tony Iannitto and his Board of Directors for putting the game on the map in Quebec and producing many great players of which are very well represented on the men’s National Team.

Canadian Ball Hockey Association and its past president s and board of directors.

Team Canada General Manager (1996-2013)Tony Iannitto and coach George Gortsos (1999-2009) and all the coaching staff,doctors and therapists.

Paolo Musto is still active in the ballhockey world today, playing at high levels in many different calibres as an inspiration to many out there who appreciate having him as a teammate and a friend.

International Street and Ball Hockey Federation and its past president s and board of directors.
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Sandro Morello (CAN)

Center
I can honestly say that I’ve been playing street/ball hockey my whole life. As a little kid you could always find me playing street hockey in front of the house, in those days, with a tennis ball. The neighborhood was full of boys so every day after school was a game in front of the house with all the neighborhood kids.

As I got older there were less kids around so it would be only a few of us playing or just me alone shooting hundreds of shots trying to hit all the corners.

I started to play in a two team gym league when I was 13 and my first arena ball hockey tournament at 15. I was hooked and started playing in a summer league and have never missed a summer since.

Over the first few years in the late eighties and early nineties, I played on a few teams ‘Les Beliers’, Cougars, Steelers. In the early nineties the Steelers joined the only federated league in Quebec called PTM and now know as hockeyballe.com and this is where my ball hockey career really started. Playing at the top level was a thrill for me.

My first Nationals was in 1996 in Montreal with a mix of players from our league that was put together to be the second Quebec team in the tournament (Montreal Storm had won the year before in Edmonton and were the first Quebec team). It was amazing to me the caliber of play, speed, and intensity. It was my first look at the Midnight Express, the best ball hockey team at that time and one of the best of all time. They were amazing to watch and after having seen them play I knew that’s the type of game and team I wanted to play on. That was Midnight’s first of five Nationals they won in a row. I did not return to the Nationals until the year 2000.

1998 was the first time I met the founders of Red Lite; Paul Roy, Mathieu Lebrun, Martin Frechette, and Jonathan Daoust who came to play with us on the Steelers. That year, we came very close to beating the Black Knights in the finals and maybe would of, if it wasn’t for Black Knight net minder Rock ‘n’ Roll Michel Perodeau - ISBHF and CBHA Hall of Fame member). It took a couple of years but Red Lite was finally born where we mixed two teams together, Little Ceaser’s and Living Legends.

There were many great battles in the early 2000’s between Red Lite and Black Knights, the two top teams in the league and whole Province of Quebec .When these 2 teams would hook up it was a packed rink.

2001 was my first international experience, I was invited to the Team Canada training camp by General Manager Tony Iannitto in Toronto for the World’s that year. This is where I met George Gortsos for the first time. He was coaching Team Canada and is one of the people who made the greatest impact in my ball hockey world. He is an intense person and the greatest motivator I have ever met.

I made the team that year and played my first World Championship with many great players to have played the game, from the Midnight Express and Ontario (James Mentis, Rob Mentis (RIP my friend), Gus Kourousis, Rob Marchese, Nelson Lajeunesse, just to name a few). I learned so much from playing with these great players. Red Lite won their first Nationals in 2001 in Vancouver where we dethroned the Midnight Express after they had won five Nationals in a row. It was quite a feat and was the ending of a great ball hockey year with being both World Champion and National Champion within a 2 month span.

The memories kept going as I was lucky enough to keep playing nationally and internationally to this day. I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of success playing on such great Red Lite and Team Canada teams. I have met so many great people on the way and learned so much with the experiences from these great tournaments and adventures that our great sport has taken me. I am very grateful to all the teammates I’ve had and still have as I keep playing with Red Lite and still a few core guys left from the originals. Special thanks to Paul Roy for all he’s done and continues to do for Red Lite, we couldn’t have done it without you and to George Gortsos for having been such a positive influence and taught me so much.

I am now looking forward to hopefully bringing back gold to Canada at the World Championships in Switzerland for 2015 as assistant coach.

Highlights:
5 Provincial Championships with Red Lite:(2001-2002-2004-2005-2014)
4 Winter Titles with Red Lite:(2007-08,2011-12,2012-13,2014-15)
8 National Championships with Red Lite: (2001-2007, & 2013)
4 Team Canada Gold Medals (2001, 2003, 2005, 2007)
1 Team Canada Silver Medal (2011)
1 Team Canada Bronze Medal (2013)
1 World Junior (U20) Team Canada Gold Medal as assistant coach (2010)

Sandro Morello started off in the Quebec Ball Hockey Association when Jean Manteiga and Martin Boucher put together the Steelers in the nineties.He surrounded himself with great mentors such as Tony Campoli and his brother Ivo Morello.Today, Sandro still plays at a very high level with the Red Lite.While he may be known for plenty of skills,Morello plays a difficult position in centre and perfected it by being able to run up and down a 200 foot arena almost breathless.His cardio and smart decision making with and without the ball made him the player every ball hockey mind would love to have on their team. A real leader by example.
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2013 INDUCTEES

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Marian Giba

Defenceman
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Martin Beseda

Defenceman
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Marzin Kurz

Forward
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2012 INDUCTEES

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Pavol Demitra

In Loving Memory
Pavol Demitra was a member of our ball hockey family. Pavol played on the first World Senior Street and Ball Hockey Championships that were held in Bratislava, Slovakia in 1996 and gained the Bronze medal with Slovak Ball Hockey team and Pavol also gained Gold medal on the 3rd World Senior Street and Ball Hockey Championships in 1999 in Zvolen, Slovakia.

Pavol died with the Lokomotiv Jaroslavl Ice Hockey club of Russia by an air-crash in September 2011. He is a part of our ball hockey family and we are all very sorry for the loss of this Slovak World Champion and our whole sports community. He was a great player and very nice person. Ball Hockey is less a great player.
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2011 INDUCTEES

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Gus Kourousis (CAN)

Forward
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Richard Král (CZE)

Forward
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Robert Kostal (SVK)

Defenceman
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2010 INDUCTEES

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Vladimír Hnilička

Ball Hockey Builder
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George Gortsos

President
Player and Coach

5 Time OBHA Champion -4 Time CBHA Champion – Midas Topguns/Fernview Rangers
1988, 1992, 1993, 1995 CBHA All-Star Defenceman
1994 CBHA Player of the Year
OBHA & CBHA Hall of Fame Player
1996 Gold Medal at first ISBHF Tournament as “Captain” of Canada
1996 ISBHF All-Star Defenceman
Coach of Team Canada to 4 Gold Medals in 2001, 2003, 2005 & 2007 and a Silver Medal in 1999 - 10 Year record of 49 Wins – 3 Losses – 1 Tie ISBHF Hall of Fame Coach
Only person to have won ISBHF World Gold as a Player and Coach
Presently Director CBHA High Performance oversees all 5 Canadian National Teams
Playing in first Over 40 Master’s World Championship in 2010


Interview
What can you tell young players about playing defence at the highest level of ball hockey.

To be in defenceman in the sport of ball hockey is to be a student of the game. You must know the best and most dangerous offensive players on the opposing team and be prepared for the offensive movements they utilize to succeed. Whether it is speed, size or certain dekes. You must know and be ready to stop them. As a player and coach I knew what these players did.

The best quality I also had as a player that enabled me to dominate players defensively besides knowing the opposing players was my fitness level. To play defence is not easy and really you must be a hard worker to overcome and defend against the player who has the ball. Without question the fact that I was in better shape than the opposing player added an advantage to me in the offence versus defence equation. I used fitness as a defensive weapon.

Finally a defenceman at the World Level must be a good ball handler and passer. These are some fundamentals that I concentrated on as a player.

What is the most memorable game that you took part in?

This is a real tough question for me. So many games to choose from. But I would have to consider three or four. One of the most memorable games had to be the 1996 World Championship in Bratislava , when Canada defeated a very good Czech Team in the final. It really was incredible to win the World championship with guys who were very close and tight knit. The first one. And what a party we had in Bratislava. I can remember coming out of the club at 6am to catch our bus to the airport at 7am!!

Another game is one Canada lost. The final in Zvolen which Canada lost to Slovakia in front of a large crowd was a incredible game. The way the Slovak crowd cheered Canada when we came to be awarded the Silver medal was a proud moment. It was also great to see Slovakia win its first Internationale World Championship. It also motivated me to work harder to win!!

The final memory is the first Golden Goal of our history. When Robert Marchese scored to beat our arch rivals the Czechs in Overtime. A game the Czechs could have easily won. Nevertheless to win in such a fashion and start us on a run of four World Championships was special.

What was the World Championship Site and tournament you enjoyed the most.

I really thought that 2003 World Tournament in Seirre was the best for the uniqueness it presented to our players. It was a great village that got behind the event. There was a festival around the games. And the players could walk to the rink and play. The crowds were big for the big games. And the Swiss just did a great job. I am not sure if another World Championship can be like this one ever again. They even had a parade with the teams going through the city!!

What was like getting ready to play your biggest rivals?

This of course for us comes to the countries and players of Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Fantastic players and teams. We knew as players and later as a coach that we would have to be at our best to win these games. Looking back at my career and the teams I was on. Well the thing I am most proud of is the record we had in games these two countries. To play teams of this calibre in the tournaments we were part of 15 times and only lose once in regulation team is a testament to the respect we had for these programs and how well prepared the players were for that game.

What or who were the best players you competed or coached against at World Championships?

I have to say that a player I admired that I played against and coached against from the Czech Republic was Pavel Kormunda. Always in great shape and really a hard worker. He could have easily played on our running teams with Canada!! The most dangerous offensive player was Richard Kral. We paid attention to his long reach and how smart of a offensive player he was. The smartest opposing player was Peter Babak of Slovakia who led his teams with his great understanding of the game and leadership qualities.

What would you tell a young person about wanting to aspire to play at the World Championships?

Ball Hockey is a game of passion. The passion and love that demonstrates how much someone loves hockey. If you want to be the best in the game of ball hockey you need to be in great shape, and you need to work on the skills with the ball that will separate you and make you a great player. One can only do this through the love of the game of hockey.

Once a player has made the sacrifice to become a great player. There can be no greater challenge than to play the game at the highest level against the great counties that come to the World Championships. You get to see other countries and you get to see if you have what it takes to become a World Champion. It is a great life experience. And makes you a better person.

You are the only person to have won a World Championship as a player and Coach. Do you think there will be others?

Without question yes I do!! I would hope that one day some of these young players who have World Championships and who will win in the future will return the favour of teaching young players how to win at our sport. So I guess I put the challenge out to the players of today. If you are a World Champ today as a player or have been, come back and mentor players to win more than you did as a Coach. This is a reward and something that I cherish. And am thankful to our players for their commitment and excellence. And yes one day you can do better than the record I have with Canada.

How would you like to be remembered as a player or coach?

In no order of importance. A intense competitor, a players coach, a motivator, always prepared as a player and coach to attain victory on and off the floor and a relentless and fast runner and hard working player. Who was a team leader. And one part of the winning equation.

Where do you think the sport of ball hockey will go in the future?

People ask me this question all the time. I know everyone talks about the Olympics, and maybe one day we will. But I honestly do not see this realistically happening anytime soon. I think our sport need to understand that the level of World Championships are played is our greatest asset. I would say the future is that for us. Make our ISBHF World Events the best they can be. Get more counties involved and make sure we have very good A, B & C pools forcing teams of like skill levels to push themselves. I would also hope that we continue to build our Women's division as this will only serve to show the diversity of our game. My final hope is that the leading countries of our sport continue to be good role models and show a good example of working for the good of ball hockey in unison. With these simple formulas our sports potential is endless.

What are you final thoughts of your career with Canada in the ISBHF?

I think about the great style of play that Canada displayed in our heyday. A team built on skill, speed and defence and great goaltending. A Canadian team built on very good discipline that played the game in breathtaking fashion. People came out to watch our team play. And I am proud of this because myself and Tony Ianitto designed these team like machines. It was a thrill to be behind the bench to watch these wonderful athletes perform. Just unbelievable ball hockey. I would also like to thank our great opponents over the years for without you the victories we attained with so much great competition would not have meant as much as it did. It was a honour to be apart of the ISBHF and the events that I had a chance to be part of. I thank the organizers, board of directors for provided us the opportunity to show what we can do. And I say to young players around the World who love hockey to look at the great game of ball hockey and rise up and work hard to become a World Champion and play our game.
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Leoš Rak (CZE)

Player/Coach
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Peter Babak (SVK)

Defenceman
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Christoph Jeannerat (SUI)

Defenceman
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Mojmir Hojer (SVK)

Defenceman
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Jaroslav Pavlik (CZE)

Defenceman
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James Mentis (CAN)

Forward
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Peter Figura (SVK)

Forward
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Robert Kassa (SVK)

Forward
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Alexandre Burrows (CAN)

Forward
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Petr Kaňkovský (CZE)

Forward
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Pavel Kormunda (CZE)

Forward
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Robert Marchese (CAN)

Forward
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Martin Lohnicky (SVK)

Goaltender
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Michel Perodeau (CAN)

Goaltender
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Pavel Pis (CZE)

Referee
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