Competitors manipulation in worldwide sport federations’ rules: a authorized synopsis

Existence of particular rules for the offence of manipulation

The overwhelming majority of IFs studied have particular rules on the manipulation of sports activities competitions even when, for a few of them, these particular guidelines are restricted to a couple behaviours and supply that, for the remainder, the IOC’s 2016 Code applies (Fig. 1). Federations that don’t have particular devoted rules of their very own usually confer with the IOC’s 2016 Code, by incorporation or by adoption of its provisions verbatim both in entirety or partially (ICF,Footnote 9 FIG,Footnote 10 IHF,Footnote 11 ISSF,Footnote 12 WCF,Footnote 13 WBSCFootnote 14 and WSFootnote 15).

Fig. 1
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IFs with/with out particular guidelines towards manipulation of competitions

Solely 4 federations don’t present for any particular guidelines by way of the manipulation of sports activities competitions (IBSF, FIL, WDSF and IFSC) – which doesn’t imply they don’t punish match fixing categorically. Of those, one (FILFootnote 16) nonetheless incorporates the IOC 2016 Code for restricted functions, one other (IFSCFootnote 17) makes a reference to the IOC 2016 Code on its web site as a part of consent phrases for athlete participation, and a 3rd one contains sure provisions in its code of ethics (WDSFFootnote 18).

Most IF rules defer to relevant guidelines at a “main occasion” (as outlined),Footnote 19 resembling any version of the Olympic or Paralympic Video games or a particular sport’s world cup, for governance of offences occurring at that sport. For instance, on the Tokyo 2020 summer season Olympic and Paralympic Video games of June 2021, the issued set of “ethics” integrated of their entirety the IOC 2016 Code,Footnote 20 this code having been first utilized on the video games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.Footnote 21 Thus, a manipulation offence could be handled below definitions offered by the code, in addition to process specified therein.

Sanctionable behaviour: the “manipulation”

On the outset, it is very important observe that phrases resembling “manipulation”, “match fixing” and “competitors fixing” are sometimes used interchangeably on the worldwide degree each in laws and academically,Footnote 22 and this additional differs on the nationwide degree.Footnote 23

Typically, it has been famous by a number of authors,Footnote 24 but in addition in jurisprudence on the federation degree in addition to the CAS degree that many alternative behaviours may be introduced below the time period “manipulation”, each ratione materiae and personae,Footnote 25 together with conduct which could not in any other case be unlawful,Footnote 26 or just increase presumption of fee of an offence.Footnote 27 Throughout IFs studied, the time period “manipulation” is broadly used alongside different offences, with two primary forms of definitions of buildings for the precise offence, whether or not or not termed “manipulation” could be noticed, whereas some, and notably distinguished, federations, keep distinctive definitions.

The first broad kind displays wording within the IOC 2016 CodeFootnote 28 and the Macolin Conference,Footnote 29 making an offence any act or omission involving (in addition to complicity—aiding, abetting, encouraging, conspiring or trying an act which might “culminate” in an offence) the alteration of the course or results of a sporting competitors or an element thereof, to take away complete or a part of its unpredictable nature, whether or not or not for or any profit (as outlined) to the actor, or to a 3rd occasion, and whether or not or not completed deliberately, negligently or fraudulently.Footnote 30 Components not related to this willpower are often listed together with participation/attendance in the identical occasion, final result of occasion, nature of such final result, receipt of consideration, impact on an actor’s efficiency and violation of any technical guidelines.Footnote 31

The second kind of definition which many federations have usually exist inside older insurance policies encompassing all forms of conduct or ethics inside which manipulation could be introduced, even when framed after 2016.Footnote 32 Lastly, there exist miscellaneous definitions, that are essential to say as they’re notably current amongst IFs which see numerous instances, resembling FIFAFootnote 33 and ITF,Footnote 34 sure others which have excessive profile,Footnote 35 and new federations resembling WDSF.Footnote 36 In case of the ITF’s Tennis Anti-Corruption Program, 2020 (“TACP, 2020”), the manipulation offences are laid down as situations of widespread occurrences inside the sport of tennis based mostly on how matches are sometimes manipulated.Footnote 37


Rules studied include each lively in addition to passive manipulation of sports activities competitions. Furthermore, 39 of the 43 federations embrace omission inside punishable behaviour.Footnote 38 The IOC 2016 Code additionally has language that features this which has then been adopted by IFs who’ve integrated the code or adopted related language.Footnote 39

In sure situations, widespread language is used throughout disciplinary offences or different violations to incorporate inside all of them the omission or passive contributions, bringing inside its ambit aiding, abetting, different complicit, encouraging, inciting, inducing, aiding or concealing behaviour.Footnote 40


An intentional act is behaviour dedicated with conscience and can; conversely, negligent behaviour is dedicated with out conscience and/or with out will, whereas nonetheless remaining at fault by culpable improvidence that may be blamed on the perpetrator.Footnote 41

If intention is offered for by all of the IFs which have regulated the manipulation of competitions (the one unclear scenario being the IFSCFootnote 42), solely a few of them additionally incriminate negligent behaviours, both explicitly or by different texts (resembling a code of ethics, for instance) extending the scope of utility to negligence (Fig. 2).Footnote 43 Among the many IFs that don’t expressly present for negligence, some nonetheless present for the punishability of negligence when sure situations are met, resembling a critical harm to the fame of the game or the involved federation (IBSFFootnote 44), or by stating, as an illustration, that “ignorance” or “having made a mistake” aren’t a defence.Footnote 45

Fig. 2
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Subjective situations in IF rules

Results of competitors/different components of the occasion/course of the competitors

Save for one IF (IFSC) the place the relevant provisions are common ones not defining manipulation,Footnote 46 all relevant federation rules include language which covers offences associated to manipulation which have an effect on not solely the ultimate results of the occasion, competitors or different exercise participated in or wager on, but in addition the course or a element of such results of occasions, parts of occasions or competitions, whether or not affected or not.Footnote 47

Monetary/non-financial objective and definition of “profit”

The query arising right here is whether or not the rules purpose to punish solely these acts of manipulation that produce monetary outcomes or whether or not the punishability is prolonged to acts with out quick monetary penalties. These embrace, for instance, acts dedicated with the only real purpose of acquiring a qualification or setting a report.Footnote 48Sure devices, such because the Macolin Conference deliver intangible advantages resembling advancing in competitors inside “manipulation”.Footnote 49 But, there stays is various opinion on criminalization of acts resembling tactical losses.Footnote 50

The research of IF rules reveals that each monetary and non-financial goals are in IF rules’ sights (often current within the definition of “profit”; Fig. 3). This side is often a element of the definition of “profit”. Many IFs, notably these having integrated the IOC 2016 Code,Footnote 51 have definitions together with the weather of (i) the direct or oblique (ii) receipt or provision of (iii) cash or the equal.Footnote 52 Even these IFs which don’t undertake the IOC 2016 Code definition strictly may nonetheless use this similar definition of profit.Footnote 53

Fig. 3
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Goal of manipulation—monetary and non-financial

IFs which construction their rules extra uniquely, together with these whose rules are prominently utilized, might (or might not) have other ways to outline and apply the time period “profit”. FIFA, as an illustration, doesn’t embrace the ingredient of “profit” inside its definition of manipulation in any respect,Footnote 54 whereas the ITF’s TACP, 2020 defines the extra restricted time period “Consideration”,Footnote 55 and ICC makes use of “Reward”.Footnote 56

Individuals, linked individuals and beneficiaries (for personal/for others)

Throughout the IFs, both the time period “Individuals”,Footnote 57 “Linked Individuals”Footnote 58 or various phrasesFootnote 59 may be used for the needs of limiting which individuals (and generally our bodies) may be introduced below the scope of the respective regulation, or might commit an offence thereunder. Some use a mix thereof, the place the definition of a “Participant” will embrace that of a “Linked Particular person”, however be a sub-set of “Individuals” as outlined, which in flip may be a sub-set then of a wider time period encompassing further individuals who might commit manipulation (or different integrity offences).Footnote 60

The actors which may be introduced below manipulation rules or definitions fluctuate throughout IFs; whether or not or not an exhaustive listing of entities to who the rules are relevant, and may lengthen from events starting from continental and member federations to particular person athletes, judges/referees proper as much as anybody approved to “co-operate, collaborate or take part” in a sport’s actions.Footnote 61 Events that support, abet, encourage conspiring or contribute by their behaviour are additionally often included inside the scope of utility.Footnote 62 Lastly, sure IFs have prolonged chance to deliver further individuals inside the ambit of their provisions, such because the ICC’s Excluded Individuals Coverage, 2021.Footnote 63

Lastly, ratione personae, by adjudicated IF selections and on attraction, have been seen to incorporate a spread of actors as famous by authors earlier than.Footnote 64 This might embrace each pure and authorized individuals, with golf equipment, usually held strictly accountable for acts of their personnel or representatives, as seen most not too long ago within the case of Kenyan membership Zoo FCFootnote 65 and confirmed in different instances by CAS awards on attraction.Footnote 66 This distinction/categorization can be utilized in sure rules to fluctuate which sanctions are awarded for a similar offence.Footnote 67

These actors, i.e. these to be proceeded towards committing prohibited acts, may, or may not be “beneficiaries” of such conduct. Thus, as regards the beneficiaries of the manipulation, the query arises as as to whether the act is punishable provided that it brings a profit to the perpetrator (as outlined) or if it is usually punishable when it’s dedicated for the good thing about a 3rd occasion. Such distinction is both discovered within the inside the definition of the time period “manipulation” itself,Footnote 68 or by the language of the supply implicitly.Footnote 69

Right here once more, the intention of most IFs is clearly to focus on each conditions of their rules (Fig. 4).

Fig. 4
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Beneficiaries of manipulations—self and/or others

Linked to the definition of a “Participant”, and related to the place/the jurisdiction during which manipulation offences happen, is the definition of what kind of scenario such rules come into play. Sure IFs deliver all forms of actions inside their purview,Footnote 70 whereas others restrict operations of manipulation particular rules solely to sure “Competitions”.Footnote 71 Lastly, as additionally talked about above many IFs make deference to main occasion guidelines for manipulation offences there.Footnote 72

Relationship to, and definition of “betting”

It’s noticed that the majority IFs punish manipulation-related offences in each betting and non-betting sporting contexts (Fig. 5),Footnote 73 and often, betting-related offences are independently outlined inside the similar set of rules,Footnote 74 with the act of betting itself being an unbiased outlined time period, whether or not termed “bets”, “betting”, “sports activities betting” or “wager”.Footnote 75 In solely few situations, betting particular rules are current with out there being a corresponding wider provision to outline or sanction all different types of manipulation.Footnote 76

Fig. 5
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Inclusion of sporting and/or betting occasions

Different offences associated to the manipulation of a sport competitors

Underneath the provisions of rules relevant to manipulation offences, most federations additionally outline linked, overlapping or different corruption-related offences or sanctionable behaviour. In some instances, it’s an overarching earlier provision discovered inside relevant rules resembling a code of ethics, previous to a particular set of rules on competitors manipulation being issued. These provisions stay most related in scenario the place no unbiased manipulation provision is but outlined.Footnote 77 These might embrace behaviour below “bringing the game into disrepute”, “critical misconduct”, and equally worded behaviour.

Very notably, ITF, below the TACP and the ITF Structure brings all linked conduct below a sturdy definition termed “Corruption Offences” which incorporates as properly all of the ancillary sanctionable conduct described under. Article D.1 of the TACP reads:

Corruption Offences: …d. No Coated Particular person shall, immediately or not directly, contrive the end result, or another side, of any Occasion. e. No Coated Particular person shall, immediately or not directly, facilitate any Participant to not use his or her finest efforts in any Occasion. f. No Coated Particular person shall, immediately or not directly, obtain any cash, profit or Consideration on the premise of not giving their finest efforts in any Occasion and/or negatively influencing one other Participant’s finest efforts in any Occasion. g. No Coated Particular person shall, immediately or not directly, supply or present any cash, profit or Consideration to another Coated Particular person with the intention of negatively influencing a Participant’s finest efforts in any Occasion. …Footnote 78

Often, the offences of betting on competitions outlined to be of a particular curiosity to the topic of the regulation (see above), corruption or corrupt conduct by the acceptance of an outlined set of “advantages” whether or not or not linked to manipulation, and (dealing in—together with utilizing, disclosing or receiving any profit in reference to) insider data are individually outlined, over and above the above described offence of competitors manipulation. To notice, is the excellence made between betting on the whole and the specification of solely sure sorts of betting as prohibited.Footnote 79 Sure federations additionally deliver below the identical rules the prohibition of receipt of presents or advantages by officers, usually above a sure worth.Footnote 80 Lastly, failure to report, disclose and cooperate with investigations are additionally independently outlined as a associated offence throughout many federation rules.Footnote 81

In some situations, the offence may be particular to the game—a related current instance is WDSF, the place the margin of subjectivity in awarding scores throughout disciplines is policed particularly to curb the flexibility for manipulation to happen, by a typical relevant code of ethics, with an unbiased provision inside the code prohibiting direct or oblique affect of the course or results of a contest as properly.Footnote 82 One other instance of particular provisions is the prohibition from participation in occasions organized by betting operators by the ISU.Footnote 83

Lastly, it’s value making observe of the construction below UEFA’s rules because of the sheer variety of instances adjudicated below their guidelines as relevant to golf equipment.Footnote 84 Unbiased provisions stay current for different actors,Footnote 85 with linked legal responsibility for golf equipment.Footnote 86 Earlier than 2007, manipulation was proceeded towards below widespread disciplinary guidelines,Footnote 87 the place a residuary provision captured all offences not particularly outlined.Footnote 88 Decided to not see golf equipment concerned in manipulation taking part within the League with out consequence,Footnote 89 since 2007, UEFA tied eligibility to prior involvement in fixing introducing a two-stage course of: a main administrative/eligibility measure, excluded a membership for a single season of competitions;Footnote 90 and a secondary disciplinary/sanctionary measure, which has no most length in sanction, the first being awarded affect on the latter.Footnote 91