What is corruption in sport and why is the fight against it so important?

Integrity is one of World Rugby’s five core values.

The expansion of betting markets in recent years has led to a significant increase in the amount and different types of bets being placed on sport.  This is due to technological developments, the popularity of sport and easier access to viewing international events.  Gamblers in various jurisdictions now place legal bets from remote locations, as well as via on-site bookmakers, and at the competition venue.  Bets are also made while a match is in play. These developments raise the potential for persons not connected with the game to attempt to corrupt players and officials, who may also themselves seek to gain from corrupt gambling.  This contravenes the core value of integrity and potentially affects the sporting contest.

What are World Rugby’s anti-corruption and betting rules?

World Rugby’s anti-corruption and betting programme derives from World Rugby Regulation 6.  Regulation 6 is founded on four principles:

  1. Never bet on Rugby and never ask anyone to bet for you
  2. Never intentionally perform below your best
  3. Never reveal confidential information
  4. Report anything suspicious to confidential@worldrugby.org

You can find Regulation 6 in full here in English, French and Spanish.

The World Rugby Integrity Unit manages the implementation of Regulation 6 including the delivery of education to participants in the Game and the investigation of potential breaches.

Who is covered by the regulations?

The World Rugby regulations cover everyone involved in the Game in any way at the international, professional, semi-professional level, and any other levels of the Game where players are paid. This group includes:

  • Players
  • Match officials
  • Coaches
  • Selectors
  • Health professionals
  • Analysts
  • Team officials
  • Administrators
  • Team owners
  • Directors
  • Judicial and anti-doping personnel
  • Agents
  • And/or any other person engaged in relation to the Game by a Union, National Representative Team or Match Officials Panel at international, professional or semi-professional level, or any other level where players are paid.

It also includes any family members and associates/friends of such people who are under the jurisdiction of a Union, Rugby Body and/or the Board (such as holding any role, accreditation or even attending matches). All such persons are called "Connected Persons".

Family members and associates/friends are also relevant as they may have Inside Information. There are specific Regulations governing the use of Inside Information which all Connected Persons need to be aware of.

The regulations apply until six months after the person ceases involvement in the Game.

Union regulations cover all of the above as well as those involved in the Game at lower/community levels, as appropriate.

How do you report an approach, suspicion or breach?

No matter how small or seemingly irrelevant, if you have been approached or been asked to supply inside information (or if you know or suspect that a team mate or anyone else involved in the Game has been approached or asked to supply inside information), you must immediately contact the World Rugby Integrity Unit. See here for instructions on how to submit a confidential report.  The Integrity Unit will work with you to support you through this process and maintain confidentiality should you wish.

World Rugby Integrity Officers are in attendance at Rugby World Cups and many other international tournaments to support participants with integrity issues. 

How does rugby educate its players, match officials, coaches and other participants?

The World Rugby Integrity Unit and Unions conduct both in-person and online education of players, coaches, match officials and others involved in the Game.  World Rugby’s online education programme is here: www.integrity.worldrugby.org.  Participants in World Rugby tournaments and various other competitions around the world are required to complete education prior to participating.

What are the sanctions for breaches of the regulations?

Regulation 6 provides the following sanctions table for breaches of the anti-corruption and betting regulations:

Anti-Corruption Breach

Range of Sanctions per offence

Additional Sanctions

Prohibited Betting
(Reg. 6.3.1)

 

Minimum:
(i) reprimand and/or warning where single Bet not placed on a Connected Event; or
(ii) 6-month Suspension where Bet(s) placed, directly or indirectly, on a Connected Event

Maximum:
5-year Suspension

AND (in all cases)

The Judicial Committee or Judicial Officer shall have the discretion to impose a fine on the Connected Person arising out of, or in connection with the Anti-Corruption Breach(es).

AND (in all cases)

Appropriate further options including without limitation the cancellation of sports results / events, demotion, points reduction, return of rewards,  replay of fixtures (for example in cases of Match Official corruption) where risk of fraud has been established or identified, withdrawal of accreditation, exclusion from Match venues and/or official Player environs, as appropriate.

Corruption Related
to Fixing
(Reg.6.3.2)

Minimum:
3-year Suspension

Maximum:
Life Suspension

Misuse of Inside Information
(Reg.6.3.3)

Minimum:
(i) reprimand and/or warning where the Connected Person did not know the Inside Information would be used for Betting; or
(ii) 6-month Suspension where the Connected Person knew the Inside Information would be used for Betting;

Maximum:
(i) 3-year Suspension where no Benefit was solicited, offered and/or provided directly or indirectly by/to the Connected Person; or
(ii) 7-year Suspension where Benefit(s) was/were solicited, offered and/or provided directly or indirectly by/to the Connected Person

General Corruption Offences
(Reg.6.3.4)

Minimum:
reprimand and/or warning

Maximum:
5-year Suspension

 

Who are World Rugby’s integrity partners?

The World Rugby Integrity Unit has a network of partners around the globe who support our efforts to protect the integrity of the game.  These partners include Unions; professional tournaments organisers; International Rugby Players; INTERPOL and domestic law enforcement agencies around the world; the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC); the International Olympic Committee; national gambling regulators; other sporting bodies’ integrity units; third party betting monitoring agencies and betting operators and representative groups, amongst others.  World Rugby’s integrity programme at Rugby World Cups has been hailed by the International Olympic Committee and the Gambling Commission as best practice and included as a case study in the UNODC’s Resource Guide on Good Practices in the Investigation of Match-Fixing.

Where can you find out more information?

Please visit World Rugby’s dedicated integrity site at www.integrity.worldrugby.org.