Anti-Corruption Code

CONTENTS  
ARTICLE 1 INTRODUCTION, SCOPE AND APPLICATION
ARTICLE 2 OFFENCES UNDER THE ANTI-CORRUPTION CODE
ARTICLE 3 STANDARD OF PROOF AND EVIDENCE
ARTICLE 4 INVESTIGATIONS AND NOTICE OF CHARGE
ARTICLE 5 THE DISCIPLINARY PROCESS
ARTICLE 6 SANCTIONS
ARTICLE 7 APPEALS
ARTICLE 8 PUBLIC DISCLOSURE AND CONFIDENTIALITY
ARTICLE 9 RECOGNITION OF DECISIONS
ARTICLE 10 STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
ARTICLE 11 AMENDMENT AND INTERPRETATION OF THE ANTI-CORRUPTION CODE
APPENDIX 1 DEFINITIONS

ARTICLE 1 INTRODUCTION, SCOPE AND APPLICATION  

1.1 ESIC has adopted this Anti-Corruption Code in recognition of the following fundamental sporting imperatives:  

1.1.1 All Esports Matches are to be contested using identical licenced Game software, with the outcome to be determined solely by the respective merits of the competing Players or Teams and to remain uncertain until the Match is completed.  This is the essential characteristic that gives sport its unique appeal.

1.1.2 Public confidence in the authenticity and integrity of any Match is vital. If that confidence is undermined, then esports and all of its stakeholders will suffer both reputationally and commercially.     

1.1.3 Advancing technology and increasing popularity have led to a substantial increase in the amount, and the sophistication, of betting on Esports.  The development of new betting products, including spread-betting, betting exchanges and in-game betting, as well as internet and phone accounts that allow people to place a bet at any time and from any place, even after a Match has started, have all increased the potential for the development of corrupt betting practices.  That, in turn, increases the risk that attempts will be made to involve Participants in such practices.  This can create a perception that the integrity of esports is under threat.   

1.1.4 Furthermore, it is of the nature of this type of misconduct that it is carried out under cover and in secret, thereby creating significant challenges for ESIC and ESIC’s Members in enforcement of rules of conduct.  As a consequence, ESIC needs to be empowered to seek information from and share information with competent authorities and other relevant third parties, and to require Participants to cooperate fully with all investigations and requests for information.

1.1.5 ESIC and its Members are committed to taking every step in their power (including, but not limited to, the provision of live data – APIs – via ESIC to enable the fraud detection service to operate effectively) (a) to prevent corrupt practices undermining the integrity of Esports, including any efforts to influence improperly the outcome or any other aspect of any Match; and (b) to preserve public confidence in the readiness, willingness and ability of ESIC and its Members to protect Esports from such corrupt practices.   

1.2 The Anti-Corruption Code is to be interpreted and applied by reference to the fundamental sporting imperatives described in Article 1.1 (including, without limitation, where an issue arises that is not expressly addressed in the Anti-Corruption Code).  Such interpretation and application shall take precedence over any strict legal or technical interpretations of the Anti-Corruption Code that may otherwise be proposed.

1.3 Unless otherwise indicated, references in the Anti-Corruption Code to Articles and Appendices are to articles and appendices of the Anti-Corruption Code.  Defined terms are set out in the Definitions in the Programme.   

1.4 This Anti-Corruption Code applies to all Participants.  For these purposes, a “Participant” is:    

1.4.1 any Player who:   

1.4.1.1 is a registered user or account holder of any Game published by or offered for play or streamed by an ESIC Member and who plays or has played or attempts to play against another Player in a Match; and/or   

1.4.1.2 is subject to an unexpired period of Ineligibility imposed on him/her pursuant to this Anti-Corruption Code; and/or  

1.4.2 any Player Support Personnel, coach, trainer, manager, team owner or official, doctor, physiotherapist, player or team agent or any other person who:  

1.4.2.1 is employed by, represents or is otherwise affiliated to (or who has been employed by, has represented or has been otherwise affiliated to in the preceding twenty-four (24) months) a Team or Player that participates in Matches; and/or   

1.4.2.2 is subject to an unexpired period of Ineligibility imposed on him/her pursuant to this Anti-Corruption Code; and/or  

1.4.3 any ESIC Director or ESIC Member Director, Officer, Official, Employee, Agent or Contractor engaged by ESIC or ESIC Member, Administrator, Referee or Technician.   

1.5 Each Participant is automatically bound by this Anti-Corruption Code as soon as he/she becomes a Participant.  From that point, he/she shall be deemed to have agreed:

1.5.1 not to engage in Corrupt Conduct in respect of any Match or Event, wherever it is held and whether or not he/she is personally participating or involved in any way in it;   

1.5.2 that it is his/her personal responsibility to familiarise him/herself with all of the requirements of the Anti-Corruption Code, and to comply with those requirements (where applicable);

1.5.3 to submit to the jurisdiction of ESIC to investigate apparent or suspected Corrupt Conduct that would amount to a violation of the Anti-Corruption Code;  

1.5.4 to submit to the jurisdiction of any Anti-Corruption Tribunal convened under the Anti-Corruption Code and Disciplinary Procedure to hear and determine, (a) any allegation by ESIC that the Participant has committed Corrupt Conduct under the Anti-Corruption Code; and (b) any related issue (e.g., any challenge to the validity of the charges or to the jurisdiction of ESIC or the Anti-Corruption Tribunal, as applicable);

1.5.5 not to bring any proceedings in any court or other forum that are inconsistent with the foregoing submissions to the jurisdiction of the aforementioned tribunal; and

1.5.6 for purposes of applicable data protection and other laws and for all other purposes, to the collection, processing, disclosure and use of information relating to him/herself and his/her activities, including personal information relating to him/herself and his/her activities, to the extent expressly permitted under the terms of the Anti-Corruption Code (and that he/she shall confirm such agreement in writing upon demand).  

1.6 Each Participant shall continue to be bound by and required to comply with the Anti-Corruption Code until he/she no longer qualifies as a Participant (the “End Date”).  Notwithstanding the foregoing, ESIC shall continue to have jurisdiction over him/her under the Anti-Corruption Code after the End Date in respect of matters taking place prior to the End Date; and he/she shall continue to be bound by and required to comply with this Anti-Corruption Code after the End Date with respect to the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of such matters.     

1.7 Without prejudice to any of the foregoing, ESIC and ESIC Members shall be responsible for promoting awareness of and education regarding the Anti-Corruption Code amongst all Participants.

1.8 This Anti-Corruption Code is not criminal law but rather disciplinary rules of professional conduct for those involved in Esports.  However, Corrupt Conduct may also be a criminal offence and/or a breach of other applicable laws or regulations.  The Anti-Corruption Code is intended to supplement such laws and regulations.  It is not intended, and should not be interpreted, construed or applied, to prejudice or undermine in any way the application of such laws and regulations.  Participants must comply with all applicable laws and regulations at all times.

1.9 For the avoidance of any doubt, nothing in this Anti-Corruption Code is intended in any way to replace or amend ESIC’s Minimum Standards for Players and Match Officials Area where such Standards have been adopted by an Event.  

 

ARTICLE 2 OFFENCES UNDER THE ANTI-CORRUPTION CODE

The conduct described in the sub-Articles set out in Articles 2.1 – 2.4, if committed by a Participant, shall amount to an offence by such Participant under this Anti-Corruption Code:  

2.1 Corruption:

2.1.1 Fixing or contriving in any way or otherwise influencing improperly, or being a party to any agreement or effort to fix or contrive in any way or otherwise influence improperly, the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of any Match, including (without limitation) by deliberately underperforming therein.     

2.1.2 Ensuring for Betting or other corrupt purposes the occurrence of a particular incident in a Match or Event.

NOTE: It shall not be an offence under Article 2.1.1 to manipulate Matches for strategic or tactical reasons (such as where a Player or Team performs in a certain manner to lose a pool Match in an Event in order to affect the standings of other teams in that Event).  Instead, such conduct is prohibited under the ESIC Code of Conduct and must be dealt with according to the procedures set out therein.     

2.1.3 Seeking, accepting, offering or agreeing to accept any bribe or other Reward to: (a) fix or to contrive in any way or otherwise to influence improperly the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of any Match; or (b) ensure for Betting or other corrupt purposes the occurrence of a particular incident in a Match.

2.1.4 Directly or indirectly soliciting, inducing, enticing, instructing, persuading, encouraging or intentionally facilitating any Participant to breach any of the foregoing provisions of this Article 2.1.    

2.2 Betting:   

2.2.1 Placing, accepting, laying or otherwise entering into any Bet with any other party (whether individual, company or otherwise and including any daily fantasy games in any jurisdiction where such games are regulated by a gambling authority or considered “betting” in a legal or regulatory sense and including “in-game” betting with in game items (eg skins etc that have real value)) in relation to the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of any Match or Event in the Game that the Participant plays professionally or is involved in any other capacity, such as manager, coach, agent etc.  Any Participant that has significant involvement (in the entire discretion of the Integrity Commissioner) in a number of Games (such as a team owner or other team official) may not place or otherwise enter into any Bet on any of the Games in which he/she is involved.      

2.2.2 Directly or indirectly soliciting, inducing, enticing, instructing, persuading, encouraging, intentionally facilitating or authorising any other party to enter into a Bet in relation to the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of any Match.   

2.3 Misuse of Inside Information:

2.3.1 Using any Inside Information for Betting purposes in relation to any Match or Event.     

2.3.2 Disclosing Inside Information to any person where the Participant knew or should have known that such disclosure might lead to the information being used in relation to Betting in relation to any Match or Event.                

2.3.3 Directly or indirectly soliciting, inducing, enticing, persuading, encouraging or intentionally facilitating any Participant to breach any of the foregoing provisions of this Article 2.3.

NOTE: Any potential offence under this Article will be considered on its own set of facts and the particular circumstances surrounding any relevant disclosure.  For example, it may be an offence under this clause to disclose Inside Information: (a) to the media; and/or (b) on social networking or Game chat boards where the Participant knew or should have known that such disclosure might lead to the information being used in relation to Betting.  However, nothing in this Article is intended to prohibit any such disclosure made within a personal relationship (such as to a member of a family) where it is reasonable for the Participant to expect that such information can be disclosed in confidence and will not be subsequently used for Betting.

  

2.4 General:

2.4.1 Giving or providing to any Participant any gift, payment, hospitality or other benefit (whether of a monetary value or otherwise) either (a) for the purpose of procuring (directly or indirectly) any breach of the Anti-Corruption Code, or (b) in circumstances that could bring him/her or Esport or a Game or an Event or ESIC into disrepute.

2.4.2 Failing to disclose to ESIC (without unnecessary delay) the receipt of any gift, payment, hospitality or other benefit, (a) that the Participant knew or should have known was given to him/her to procure (directly or indirectly) any breach of the Anti-Corruption Code, or (b) that was made or given in circumstances that could bring the Participant or Esport or the Game or Event into disrepute.

2.4.3 Failing to disclose to ESIC (without unnecessary delay) all gifts (whether monetary or otherwise), hospitality and/or other non-contractual benefits offered to a Participant that have a value of US$500.00 or more, whether or not the circumstances set out in Article 2.4.2 are present, save that there shall be no obligation to disclose any (i) personal gifts, hospitality and/or other non-contractual benefits offered by or on behalf of any relative of the Participant, (ii) any food or beverage gifts or (iii) Event hospitality gifts in connection with Matches/Events the Participant is participating in.        

 

NOTE: For the purposes of any disclosures made pursuant to either Article 2.4.2 or 2.4.3 such disclosures must be made to ESIC, which shall keep a register of all such disclosures, and will share, subject to the Integrity Commissioner’s entire discretion and where deemed necessary, the content of such register (or any part of it) with the relevant ESIC Member, being, potentially, the Game publisher, Match or Event organiser or promoter. In the case of online payments/gifts to Players by fans/supporters made through official donation mechanism/s on that Players social media or other internet presence, the Player should, as a matter of best practice, publicly acknowledge on that social media or other internet  presence such gift/payment. In any event, the Player should email the Integrity Commissioner disclosing the payment/gift without delay – report@esportsintegrity.com

 

2.4.4 Failing to disclose to ESIC (without unnecessary delay) full details of any approaches or invitations received by the Participant to engage in Corrupt Conduct under the Anti-Corruption Code.             

2.4.5 Failing to disclose to ESIC (without unnecessary delay) full details of any incident, fact, or matter that comes to the attention of a Participant that may evidence Corrupt Conduct under the Anti-Corruption Code by another Participant, including (without limitation) approaches or invitations that have been received by another Participant to engage in Corrupt Conduct under the Anti-Corruption Code.

 

NOTE:  A Participant shall not discharge his burden under this Article unless and until the required disclosure has been made directly to ESIC by such Participant.  It is not sufficient for such disclosure to be made instead to any other third party, including any Player, Team official, Match Referee or other Member representative.

 

NOTE:  It is acknowledged that the fight against corruption requires prompt reporting of all such approaches and any unnecessary delay in doing so may undermine the effectiveness with which ESIC and other relevant anti-corruption bodies can protect the integrity of the sport.  It is acknowledged that the assessment of whether there had been ‘unnecessary delay’ in each case will depend on its own circumstances, but it is always unacceptable (and will therefore constitute ‘unnecessary delay’) for a Participant to wait until after the Match or Event in respect of which he/she was invited to engage in Corrupt Conduct before reporting that approach to ESIC.

NOTE: All Participants have a continuing obligation to report any new incident, fact, or matter that may evidence Corrupt Conduct to ESIC, even if the Participant’s prior knowledge has already been reported.  

 

 

2.4.6 Failing or refusing, without compelling justification to cooperate with any investigation carried out by ESIC in relation to possible Corrupt Conduct under the Anti-Corruption Code (by any Participant), including (without limitation) failing to provide accurately and completely any information and/or documentation requested by ESIC (whether as part of a formal Demand pursuant to Article 4.3 or otherwise) as part of such investigation.

2.4.7 Obstructing or delaying any investigation that may be carried out by ESIC in relation to possible Corrupt Conduct under the Anti-Corruption Code (by any Participant), including (without limitation) concealing, tampering with or destroying any documentation or other information that may be relevant to that investigation and/or that may be evidence of or may lead to the discovery of evidence of Corrupt Conduct under the Anti-Corruption Code.

2.4.8 Failing or refusing, to cooperate with any proceedings brought against any Participant for Corrupt Conduct under the Anti-Corruption Code, including (without limitation) failing to provide a witness statement(s) in respect of information in the possession of the Participant and/or failing to attend, for the purposes of providing truthful oral evidence, any disciplinary hearing convened before the Integrity Commissioner and/or an Anti-Corruption Tribunal under the Anti-Corruption Code, where requested by ESIC.

2.4.9 Directly or indirectly soliciting, inducing, enticing, persuading, encouraging or intentionally facilitating any Participant to breach any of the foregoing provisions of this Article 2.4.    

2.5 For the purposes of this Article 2:  

2.5.1 Any attempt by a Participant, or any agreement by a Participant with any other person, to act in a manner that would culminate in the commission of an offence under the Anti-Corruption Code, shall be treated as if an offence had been committed, whether or not such attempt or agreement in fact resulted in such offence.       

2.5.2 A Participant who authorises, causes, knowingly assists, encourages, aids, abets, covers up or is otherwise complicit in any acts or omissions of the type described in Articles 2.1 – 2.4 committed by his/her coach, trainer, manager, agent, family member, guest or other affiliate or associate shall be treated as having committed such acts or omissions him/herself and shall be liable accordingly under the Anti-Corruption Code.    

2.5.3 Where a Participant seeks to rely on the existence of ‘compelling justification’ to justify or excuse conduct under the Anti-Corruption Code which might otherwise amount to an offence (see Article 2.4.6), the burden shall be on that Participant to adduce sufficient credible evidence to prove, on the balance of probabilities, that genuine and powerful reasons exist (or existed) to objectively justify his/her conduct taking into account all the relevant circumstances.

2.6 The following are not relevant to the determination of an offence under the Anti-Corruption Code (although they may be relevant to the issue of the sanction to be imposed under Article 6 in the event that it is determined that an offence has been committed):

2.6.1 Whether or not the Participant was participating or involved in any way in the specific Match(es)/Event/s in question.  

2.6.2 The nature or outcome of any Bet(s) on the Match(es)/Event/s in question.

2.6.3 The outcome of the Match(es)/Event/s in question.   

2.6.4 Whether or not the Participant’s efforts or performance (if any) in the Match(es)/Event/s in question were (or could be expected to be) affected by the acts or omissions in question.

2.6.5 Whether or not any of the results in the Match(es)/Event/s in question were (or could be expected to be) affected by the act or omissions in question.

2.7 It shall be a valid defence to a charge of:

2.7.1 any offence under the Anti-Corruption Code to prove, on the balance of probabilities, that the alleged offence was committed (and that, where applicable, it was not reported to ESIC thereafter) due to the Participant’s honest and reasonable belief that there was a serious threat to his/her life or safety or to the life or safety of any other person; and

2.7.2 an offence under Article 2.4.8 of the Anti-Corruption Code if the Participant adduces sufficient credible evidence to prove, on the balance of probabilities, that genuine and powerful reasons exist (or existed) to objectively justify his/her conduct taking into account all the relevant circumstances (and for which purpose the right to invoke the privilege against self-incrimination is deemed to have been waived by each Participant and shall not be a sufficient reason).     

ARTICLE 3 STANDARD OF PROOF AND EVIDENCE  

3.1 Unless otherwise stated elsewhere in this Anti-Corruption Code, the burden of proof shall be on ESIC in all cases brought under the Anti-Corruption Code and the standard of proof shall be whether the Integrity Commissioner or Anti-Corruption Tribunal is comfortably satisfied that the alleged offence has been committed, bearing in mind the seriousness of the allegation that is being made.  This standard of proof in all cases is on balance of probability and shall specifically not require proof beyond a reasonable doubt.    

3.2 The following rules of proof shall be applicable at the hearing:  

3.2.1  The Anti-Corruption Tribunal shall not be bound by rules governing the admissibility of evidence in judicial or other proceedings.  Instead, facts may be established by any reliable means, including admissions and circumstantial evidence.   

3.2.2 The Anti-Corruption Tribunal shall have discretion to accept any facts established by a decision of a court or professional disciplinary tribunal of competent jurisdiction that is not the subject of a pending appeal as irrebuttable evidence of those facts as against the Participant to whom the decision pertained, unless the Participant establishes that the decision violated principles of natural justice.  

3.2.3  The Anti-Corruption Tribunal may draw an inference adverse to a Participant who is asserted to have committed an offence under the Anti-Corruption Code based on his/her refusal, without compelling justification, after a request made in a reasonable time in advance of the hearing, to appear at the hearing (either in person or by video or telephone link, as directed by the Anti-Corruption Tribunal) and to answer any relevant questions.
  

ARTICLE 4 INVESTIGATIONS AND NOTICE OF CHARGE  

4.1 Any allegation or suspicion of a breach of the Anti-Corruption Code, whatever the source, shall be referred to the Integrity Commissioner for investigation.   

4.2 ESIC may at any time conduct an investigation into the activities of any Participant that it believes may have committed an offence under the Anti-Corruption Code.  Such investigations may be conducted in conjunction with, and/or information obtained in such investigations may be shared with, Members and/or other relevant authorities (including criminal, administrative, professional and/or judicial authorities).  All Participants and Members must cooperate fully with such investigations, failing which any such Participant shall be liable to be charged with a breach of the Anti-Corruption Code pursuant to Articles 2.4.6, 2.4.7, 2.4.8 and/or 2.4.9 (and it shall not be a valid basis for failing or refusing to cooperate or a valid defence to any such subsequent charge for a Participant to invoke any privilege against self-incrimination, which privilege is deemed to have been waived by the Participant).  ESIC shall have discretion, where it deems appropriate, to stay its own investigation pending the outcome of investigations being conducted by other relevant authorities.

4.3 As part of any investigation, the Integrity Commissioner may at any time (including after a Notice of Charge has been provided to a relevant Participant) make a written demand to any Participant (a “Demand”) to provide to ESIC, in writing and/or by answering questions in person at an interview (as the Integrity Commissioner elects), with any information that the Integrity Commissioner reasonably believes may be relevant to the investigation, including (without limitation) (a) copies or access to all relevant records (such as current or historic telephone records, bank statements, Internet services records and/or other records stored on computer hard drives or other information storage equipment or any consent forms related thereto); and/or (b) all of the facts and circumstances of which the Participant is aware with respect to the matter being investigated.  Provided that any such Demand has been issued in accordance with this Article, and subject to any applicable principles of national law, the Participant shall cooperate fully with such Demand, including by furnishing such information within such reasonable period of time as may be determined by the Integrity Commissioner.  Where appropriate, the Participant may seek an extension of such deadline by providing the Integrity Commissioner with cogent reasons to support an extension, provided that the decision to grant or deny such extension shall be in the discretion of the Integrity Commissioner, acting reasonably at all times.

4.4 Any information furnished to the Integrity Commissioner (whether pursuant to a specific Demand or otherwise as part of an investigation) will not be used for any purpose other than in accordance with the Anti-Corruption Code and will be kept strictly confidential except when:  

4.4.1 it becomes necessary to disclose such information in support of a charge of breach of  the Anti-Corruption Code;  

4.4.2 such information is required to be disclosed by any applicable law;  

4.4.3 such information is already published or a matter of public record, readily acquired by an interested member of the public, or disclosed according to the rules and regulations governing the relevant Match; and/or

4.4.4 it becomes necessary (because the information gathered may also amount to or evidence infringements of other applicable laws or regulations) to disclose such information to other competent authorities (including any applicable police, taxation, fraud, criminal intelligence or other authorities), whether pursuant to formal information-sharing agreements or otherwise.    

4.5 All Participants must cooperate with ESIC in relation to any proceedings brought against any other Participant for Corrupt Conduct in breach of the Anti-Corruption Code, including (without limitation) through the provision of a witness statement(s) in respect of information in the possession of the Participant and/or attending, for the purposes of providing truthful oral evidence, any disciplinary hearing convened before an Anti-Corruption Tribunal and/or CAS under the Anti-Corruption Code, where requested by ESIC, failing which the non-cooperating Participant shall be liable to be charged with a breach of the Anti-Corruption Code pursuant to Article 2.4.8.  In light of the waiver contained in Article 2.7.2, it shall not be a valid basis for failing or refusing to cooperate or a valid defence to any such subsequent charge for a Participant to invoke any privilege against self-incrimination.

4.6 If, at any time, ESIC determines that there is a case to answer under Article 2, then the Participant shall be sent written notice of the following (the “Notice of Charge”):

4.6.1 that the Participant has a case to answer under Article 2;  

4.6.2 the specific offence(s) that the Participant is alleged to have committed;

4.6.3 details of the alleged acts and/or omissions relied upon in support of the charge;  

4.6.4 the range of sanctions applicable under the Anti-Corruption Code if the charge is admitted or upheld;  

4.6.5 (where applicable) the matters relating to Provisional Suspension specified at Article 4.7; and   

4.6.6 that if the Participant wishes to exercise his/her right to a hearing before the Anti-Corruption Tribunal (whether to contest liability or sanction or both), he/she must submit a written request for a hearing that explains how the Participant responds to the charge(s) and (in summary form) the basis for such response.  To be effective, the request must be received by the Integrity Commissioner as soon as possible, but in any event within fourteen (14) days of the Participant’s receipt of the Notice of Charge.  

4.7 Provisional Suspension:   

4.7.1 Where either: (a) the Integrity Commissioner decides to charge a Participant with an offence under the Anti-Corruption Code; or (b) the Integrity Commissioner considers that there are other exceptional circumstances relevant to a Participant (for example, where any relevant police authority has arrested and/or charged a Participant with an offence under any relevant criminal law in respect of facts or circumstances that may also constitute an offence under the Anti-Corruption Code), he/she shall have the discretion, in circumstances where it considers that the integrity of Esports, a Game, Match or Event could otherwise be seriously undermined, to Provisionally Suspend the Participant pending the Anti-Corruption Tribunal’s determination of whether he/she has committed an offence.  Any decision to Provisionally Suspend the Participant will be communicated to the Participant in writing, with a copy sent at the same time to the relevant Member/s in whose Game or Event the Participant is or was participating or in which he/she usually participates.       

4.7.2 In all cases, the Participant shall be given an opportunity to contest such Provisional Suspension in a Provisional Hearing taking place before the Chairman of the ESIC Panel (sitting alone) on a timely basis after its imposition.  At any such Provisional Hearing, it shall be the burden of ESIC to establish that in such circumstances, the integrity of Esports, the Game or Event could be seriously undermined if he/she does not remain Provisionally Suspended pending determination of the charge(s) or such other date (as may be applicable).  The Provisional Hearing shall take place on the basis of written submissions alone, save where the Chairman of the ESIC Panel determines otherwise in his absolute discretion.      

4.7.3 Where a full hearing under Article 5 has not been convened within three (3) months of the imposition of a Provisional Suspension, the Participant shall be entitled to apply (again, where applicable) to the Chairman of the ESIC Panel (sitting alone) to lift the imposition of the Provisional Suspension.  It shall be the burden of ESIC to establish that there remains a risk that the integrity of Esports and/or the Game and/or the Event could be seriously undermined if the Provisional Suspension was lifted.  The application shall be determined on the basis of written submissions alone, save where the Chairman of the ESIC Panel in his absolute discretion determine otherwise. 4.7.4 While Provisionally Suspended, a Participant may not play, coach, manage or otherwise participate or be involved in any capacity in a Match and/or Event or any other kind of function or activity (other than authorised anti-corruption education or rehabilitation programs) that is authorised, organised, sanctioned, recognised or supported in any way by an ESIC Member, or receive accreditation to provide media or other services at any Event or Match.  Members shall take all reasonable steps within their powers to give effect to this Article 4.7.4 to the extent that they have the jurisdiction, power or ability to do so.

4.7.5 A Participant who is not Provisionally Suspended may voluntarily Provisionally Suspend him/herself by written notice to the Integrity Commissioner.  In that case, provided that the Participant respects that voluntary Provisional Suspension until the charge(s) against him/her is/are determined, he/she shall be given credit for such voluntary Provisional Suspension in accordance with Article 6.4.  A copy of any such notice will be sent by ESIC to the relevant Members (those in whose Game/s and/or Event/s the Participant usually participates).

4.8 Responding to a Notice of Charge:

4.8.1 If the Participant fails to file a written request for a hearing before the Anti-Corruption Tribunal in accordance with Article 4.6.6 (or by any extended deadline that the Integrity Commissioner deems appropriate), then he/she shall be deemed to have:

4.8.1.1 waived his/her entitlement to a hearing;   

4.8.1.2 admitted that he/she has committed the offence(s) under the Anti-Corruption Code specified in the Notice of Charge; and  

4.8.1.3 acceded to the range of applicable sanctions specified in the Notice of Charge.

In such circumstances, a hearing before the Anti-Corruption Tribunal shall not be required.  Instead, the Integrity Commissioner shall promptly issue a public decision confirming the offence(s) under the Anti-Corruption Code specified in the Notice of Charge and the imposition of an applicable sanction within the range specified in the Notice of Charge.  Before issuing that public decision, the Integrity Commissioner will provide written notice of that decision to the Member/s in whose Game/s and/or Event/s the Participant usually participates.  

4.8.2 Where the Participant does request a hearing in accordance with Article 4.6.6, the matter shall proceed to a hearing in accordance with the Disciplinary Procedure.

 

ARTICLE 5 THE DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURE

5.1   Where a hearing is necessary, it shall be conducted according to the Disciplinary Procedure.

  

ARTICLE 6 SANCTIONS  

6.1 Where a breach of the Anti-Corruption Code is admitted by the Participant or upheld by the Anti-Corruption Tribunal, the Anti-Corruption Tribunal will be required to impose an appropriate sanction upon the Participant from the range of permissible sanctions described in Article 6.2.  In order to determine the appropriate sanction that is to be imposed in each case, the Anti-Corruption Tribunal must first determine the relative seriousness of the offence, including identifying all relevant factors that it deems to:

6.1.1 aggravate the nature of the offence, including (without limitation):   

6.1.1.1 a lack of remorse on the part of the Participant;  

6.1.1.2 the Participant’s bad previous disciplinary record (including where the Participant has previously been found guilty of another offence under the Anti-Corruption Code or of a related criminal offence or regulatory offence under a respected organisation in Esport);   

6.1.1.3 where the amount of any profits, winnings or other Reward directly or indirectly received by the Participant as a result of the offence(s) is substantial and/or where the sums of money otherwise involved in the offence(s) were substantial;   

6.1.1.4 where the offence substantially damaged (or had the potential to damage substantially) the commercial value and/or the public interest in the relevant Game/s, Match(es) or Events;  

6.1.1.5 where the offence affected (or had the potential to affect) the result of the relevant Match(es) or Event;  

6.1.1.6 where the welfare of a Participant or any other person has been endangered as a result of the offence;   

6.1.1.7 where the offence involved more than one Participant; and/or   

6.1.1.8 any other aggravating factor(s) that the Anti-Corruption Tribunal considers relevant and appropriate.    

6.1.2 mitigate the nature of the offence, including (without limitation):  

6.1.2.1 any admission of guilt (the mitigating value of which may depend upon its timing);   

6.1.2.2 the Participant’s good previous disciplinary record;  

6.1.2.3 the youth and/or lack of experience of the Participant;   

6.1.2.4 where the Participant renounced the attempt or agreement prior to it being discovered by a third party not involved in the attempt or agreement.  

6.1.2.5 where the Participant has cooperated with ESIC and any investigation or Demand carried out by it;  

6.1.2.6 where the offence did not substantially damage (or have the potential to substantially damage) the commercial value, integrity of results and/or the public interest in the relevant Game/s, Match(es) or Event/s;  

6.1.2.7 where the offence did not affect (or have the potential to affect) the result of the relevant Match(es) or Event/s;   

6.1.2.8 where the Participant provides Substantial Assistance to ESIC, a criminal authority, or a professional disciplinary body;   

6.1.2.9 where the Participant has already suffered penalties under other laws and/or regulations for the same offence; and/or  

6.1.2.10 any other mitigating factor(s) that the Anti-Corruption Tribunal considers relevant and appropriate.    

6.2 Having considered all of the factors described in Articles 6.1.1 and 6.1.2, the Anti-Corruption Tribunal shall then determine, in accordance with the following guidelines, what the appropriate sanction(s) should be (in every case, the Integrity Commissioner and the Anti-Corruption Tribunal shall have the additional discretion to impose a fine of any level they find appropriate):  

 

Article 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3 or 2.1.4 (Corruption) : Ineligibility for minimum of two (2) Events (to be designated by the Integrity Commissioner or Tribunal in their absolute discretion taking into account the Game/s the Participant usually participates in and the upcoming Events in which Matches in that Game or Games will be played) and a maximum of a lifetime.

 

Article 2.2.1 or 2.2.2 (Betting): Ineligibility for a minimum of two (2) Events and a maximum of two (2) years.

 

Articles 2.3.1, 2.3.2 or 2.3.3 (as it relates to an offence under Article 2.3.1 or 2.3.2) (Misuse of Inside Information):

No minimum period of Ineligibility and a maximum of three (3) years.

  

Any of Articles 2.4.1 to 2.4.6, inclusive (General): A minimum period of Ineligibility of two (2) Events and a maximum of five (5) years.

 

Any of Articles 2.4.7 to 2.4.9, inclusive (General): No minimum period of Ineligibility up to a maximum of five (5) years.

6.3 For the avoidance of doubt:

6.3.1 the Integrity Commissioner and/or Anti-Corruption Tribunal has jurisdiction to adjust, reverse or amend the results of any Match(es) or Event/s so long as no manifest or serious injustice results to an innocent Participant (for these purposes, an innocent Participant shall not include a team mate of the guilty Participant/s who played in the same Team as the Participant in the Match(es) and/or Event/s in question);  

6.3.2 where a  Participant is found guilty of committing two offences under the Anti-Corruption Code in relation to the same incident or set of facts, then (save where ordered otherwise by the Anti-Corruption Tribunal for good cause shown) any multiple periods of Ineligibility imposed should run concurrently (and not cumulatively);

6.3.3 where a fine and/or costs award is imposed against a Participant, such fine and/or costs award must be paid directly to ESIC no later (subject to Article 6.7) than one calendar month following receipt of the decision imposing the fine; and

6.3.4 ESIC will provide the Member/s with written notice of (and a full written copy of) the findings and decisions of the Anti-Corruption Tribunal (including any sanctions imposed by the Anti-Corruption Tribunal) at the same time as such decision is provided to the Participant and prior to publicly announcing such decision.     

6.4 Any period of Ineligibility imposed on a Participant shall commence on the date that the decision imposing the period of Ineligibility is issued; provided that any period of Provisional Suspension served by the Participant shall be credited against the total period of Ineligibility to be served.    

6.5 No Participant who has been declared Ineligible may, during the period of Ineligibility, play, coach, officiate or otherwise participate or be involved in any capacity in any Match (including by way of demonstration Match streamed online or otherwise broadcast in any way) or Event or any other kind of function, event or activity (other than authorised anti-corruption education or rehabilitation programs) that is authorised, organised, sanctioned, recognised or supported in any way by ESIC or any Member of ESIC (in particular, the ESIC Member publisher of the Game/s usually played by the ineligible Participant shall suspend or delete any account/s of the Participant and not accept new registrations from such Participant throughout the period of Ineligibility), or receive

accreditation to provide media or other services at any official Event venue or Match.  ESIC Members shall take all reasonable steps within their powers to give effect to this Article 6.5 to the extent that they have the jurisdiction, power or ability to do so.     

6.6 A Participant who is subject to a period of Ineligibility shall remain subject to this Anti-Corruption Code during that period.  If a Participant commits Corrupt Conduct during a period of Ineligibility, this shall be treated as a separate offence and new proceedings will be brought pursuant to Article 4.6 of this Anti-Corruption Code.  

6.7 Once any period of Ineligibility has expired, the Participant will automatically become re-eligible to participate or be otherwise involved in Matches provided that he/she has first: (a) completed an official anti-corruption education session to the reasonable satisfaction of the Integrity Commissioner; (b) agreed to subject him/herself to such additional reasonable and proportionate monitoring procedures and requirements as the Integrity Commissioner may reasonably consider necessary given the nature and scope of the offence committed; and (c) satisfied in full any fine and/or award of costs made against him/her by the Integrity Commissioner, any Anti-Corruption Tribunal or any competent court of appeal. However, ESIC will consider any request from any Participant, on the grounds of financial hardship, to make the payment of such fines and/or costs over a prolonged period of time.  Should any fine and/or costs award (or agreed part-payment or instalment thereof) not be paid to ESIC within such deadline or by the time of the next agreed payment date, then, unless ESIC agrees otherwise, the Participant may not play, coach or otherwise participate or be involved in any capacity in any Match until such payment has been satisfied in full.

6.8 The Integrity Commissioner shall, only after obtaining the prior approval of the ESIC Board, have discretion to permit a Participant who is subject to a period of Ineligibility to practice, train or otherwise be involved in matches with his Team (if he has one) or to play the relevant Game/s in a training capacity with another Participant at any time prior to the end of that period of Ineligibility where in the opinion of the Integrity Commissioner the early reinstatement of such eligibility is warranted by the conduct of the Participant since the period of Ineligibility was imposed, taking into account such factors as the Integrity Commissioner in his absolute discretion considers appropriate and given the underlying objectives of this Anti-Corruption Code.  Such factors may include (without limitation) the fact and timing of any expressions of apology, remorse and/or contrition by the Participant, the Participant’s cooperation with the ESIC education programmes, and/or the Participant’s full disclosure of any and all information known to the Participant that may be helpful to ESIC in enforcing the Anti-Corruption Code or in otherwise furthering its objectives.  For the avoidance of doubt, the Integrity Commissioner shall not in any circumstances have discretion to reinstate the Participant’s eligibility to participate or otherwise be involved in Matches or Events prior to the end of the period of Ineligibility.      

 

ARTICLE 7 APPEALS

7.1 After any appeal to an Appeal Panel under the Disciplinary Procedure, the following decisions made under the Anti-Corruption Code may be challenged by ESIC or the Participant who is the subject of the decision (as applicable) by appeal to any court of competent jurisdiction of the appealing party’s choice subject to this Article 7:  

7.1.1 a decision by the Chairman of the ESIC Panel not to lift a Provisional Suspension;

7.1.2 a decision that a charge of breach of the Anti-Corruption Code should be dismissed for  procedural or jurisdictional reasons;

7.1.3 a decision that an offence under the Anti-Corruption Code has (or has not) been committed;  and/or

7.1.4  a decision to impose (or not to impose) sanctions, including the appropriateness of any  sanction imposed for an offence under the Anti-Corruption Code.   

7.2 For the avoidance of any doubt, no party shall have any right of appeal against (a) an Agreed Sanction imposed pursuant to Article 5.1.12; or (b) decisions by the Integrity Commissioner made pursuant to Article 6.8.

7.3 Decisions being appealed shall remain in effect and binding pending resolution of the appeal.

7.4 The deadline for filing an appeal shall be twenty-one (21) days from the date of receipt of the written reasoned decision by the appealing party.  To be a valid filing under this Article, a copy of an appeal filed by the Participant must also be served on the same day on ESIC.   

7.5 In all appeals pursuant to this Article 7:

7.5.1 Where required in order to do justice (for example to cure procedural errors at the first instance hearing), the appeal shall take the form of a re-hearing de novo of the issues raised by the case.  In all other cases, the appeal shall not take the form of a de novo hearing but instead shall be limited to a consideration of whether the decision being appealed was erroneous.

7.5.2 The governing law shall be English law and the appeal shall be conducted in English, unless the parties agree otherwise.

7.5.3 The decision on the appeal shall be final and binding on all parties, and no right of appeal shall lie from the first appeal decision.  

 

ARTICLE 8 PUBLIC DISCLOSURE AND CONFIDENTIALITY  

8.1 Save in exceptional circumstances where ESIC (acting reasonably) deems it necessary for the purposes of protecting the integrity of Esports and/or any of its Participants (for example in circumstances where there is significant damaging and/or incorrect media speculation), neither ESIC nor any Member shall publicly identify any Participant who is being investigated or is alleged to have committed an offence under the Anti-Corruption Code until he/she has been formally charged pursuant to Article 4.6, at which point it shall be entitled to publicly announce the name of the Participant charged and the offences with which he/she has been charged.  Thereafter, ESIC will not comment publicly on the specific facts of a pending case except in response to public comments made by (or on behalf of) the Participant involved in the case or his/her representatives or where otherwise necessary to preserve the public’s confidence in the ability of ESIC to fight corruption in Esports.  

8.2 Once the Integrity Commissioner or Anti-Corruption Tribunal has issued its decision in respect of any charges brought under the Anti-Corruption Code:  

8.2.1 If the decision is that an offence has been committed: (a) the decision may, at ESIC’s discretion, be publicly reported in full as soon as possible; and (b) after the decision is publicly reported, ESIC may also publish such other parts of the proceedings before the Anti-Corruption Tribunal as ESIC thinks fit.   

8.2.2 If the decision exonerates the Participant, then the decision may be publicly reported only with the consent of the Participant.  ESIC shall use reasonable efforts to obtain such consent, and (if consent is obtained) shall publicly disclose the decision in its entirety or in such redacted form as the Participant may approve.     

8.3 ESIC shall use its best endeavours to ensure that persons under its control do not publicly identify Participants who are alleged to have committed an offence under the Anti-Corruption Code other than in accordance with Article 8.1 and 8.2.  However, ESIC in its discretion may at any time disclose to other organisations such information as ESIC may consider necessary or appropriate to facilitate administration or enforcement of the Anti-Corruption Code, provided that each organisation provides assurance satisfactory to ESIC that the organisation will maintain all such information in confidence.   

 

ARTICLE 9 RECOGNITION OF DECISIONS  

9.1 All Members shall comply with the Anti-Corruption Code and take all necessary and reasonable steps within their powers to recognise, enforce, extend and give effect to all decisions taken and Provisional Suspensions and sanctions imposed under the Anti-Corruption Code within their own respective jurisdictions, without the need for further formality.  This shall include (without limitation), where it has the jurisdiction to do so, requiring the organisers or promoters of any Matches or Events to recognise and give effect to such decisions and Provisional Suspensions and sanctions.   

 

ARTICLE 10 TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF INVESTIGATIONS AND STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS  

10.1 No action may be commenced under the Anti-Corruption Code against a Participant for an offence under the Anti-Corruption Code more than ten years after the date that the offence occurred.

10.2 Subject strictly to Article 10.1, ESIC has the right (but no obligation) to suspend investigations temporarily under this Anti-Corruption Code to avoid prejudice to, and/or to give precedence to, investigations conducted by other relevant authorities into the same or related matters.

ARTICLE 11 AMENDMENT AND INTERPRETATION OF THE ANTI-CORRUPTION CODE

11.1 The Anti-Corruption Code may be amended from time to time by ESIC’s Board, with such amendments coming into effect on the date specified by ESIC.   

11.2 The headings used for the various Articles of the Anti-Corruption Code are for the purpose of guidance only and shall not be deemed to be part of the substance of the Anti-Corruption Code or to inform or affect in any way the language of the provisions to which they refer.

11.3 The Anti-Corruption Code shall come into full force and effect on 1st May 2016 (the “Effective Date”).  It shall not operate to disturb any decisions and/or sanctions previously made under the Code of Conduct or Rules and Regulations of Members, nor shall it apply retrospectively to matters pending before the Effective Date.

11.4 If any Article or provision of this Anti-Corruption Code is ruled to be invalid, unenforceable or illegal for any reason, it shall be deemed deleted, and the Anti-Corruption Code shall remain otherwise in full force and effect.    

11.5 The Anti-Corruption Code is governed by and shall be construed in accordance with English law.