Sports law is not immune from criminal law. Hence, athletes are not immune from criminal prosecution for on-field behavior. The behavior of athletes is usually presumed premeditated because physical contact is part of sports. The degree of physical contact determines the intention of the athlete toward another. Any contact, which goes beyond what, is expected and reasonable in a sporting event may warrant an athlete to face criminal prosecution for their actions.
A. TYPES OF CRIMES
The different types of crimes, which are susceptible to criminal prosecution in the sports industry, are as follows;
- Assault and Battery
- Sports bribery and game fixing
- Use of performance-enhancement drugs
- Ticket scalping
- Crimes against sports officials
- Any other crime is punishable by the state.
B. ASSAULT AND BATTERY
The crimes of assault and battery are likely to be the most prevalent crimes in sports. An assault is a willful attempt or willful threat to inflict injury upon another person. It is intentionally placing someone in fear of imminent harm.
A battery is the actual intentional physical contact. A battery can be regarded as a successful or executed assault.
The use of weapons in the commission of such acts of assault and battery is usually considered aggravating circumstances.
C. SPORTS BRIBERY AND GAME FIXING
The basis of concern about sports gambling is that games fixed by players, coaches, trainers, and other officials defeat the purpose that the outcome of a sporting event is left to chance and skill.
D. USE OF PERFORMANCE-ENHANCING DRUGS
These are the consumption of drugs by athletes that contravene the anti-doping rules in sports. They can also be subject to criminal prosecution if their consumption is against the laws of the state.
E. TICKET SCALPING
This is the purchase of tickets from a legitimate source and then reselling them on the streets at higher prices than the legitimate price.
F. CRIMES AGAINST SPORTS OFFICIALS
These are criminal actions targeted at sports officials such as referees, their assistants, and any other sports official.
G. ANY OTHER CRIME PUNISHABLE BY THE STATE
The state in which sports activities are being performed has laws that must be respected by all citizens, an athlete participating in sports activities within the state, be he or she a citizen or a foreign national is also bound to respect state laws. A contravention of such laws will only lead to criminal prosecution by the state justice system.