Until August 2011 the Bulgarian criminal law had not covered bribes or other unlawful means of influencing the course or outcome of sport competitions. But the new sport crime legislation foresees punishments of up to 10 years imprisonment and up to a EUR 15,000 fine, depending on the gravity of the offence.
For the first time, from 8 August 2011, a set of sport offences have been established under the criminal law of Bulgaria. Their aim is to criminalise sport fixing in Bulgaria. The new law is intended to counter the increasing number of cases reported in the media of alleged agreements by which a match or race has a completely or partially pre-determined result.
The offences fall into four main groups.
First, a person is criminally liable who, through violence, fraud, intimidation or other illegal means, persuades another person to influence the course or outcome of a sporting event administered by a sport organisation.
Second, a person is criminally liable who has promised, offered or given an undue benefit to another person to motivate the latter to influence (or as consideration for having influenced) the course or outcome of a sporting event administered by a sport organisation.
The above two groups are subject to a more severe penalty if committed:
towards a participant in a race under 18 years of age; towards two or more participants in a race; towards or by a person serving in a management or supervisory body of a sport organisations, a sport referee, a delegate or another person in the performance or in connection with the performance of that person's duties; by a person acting on behalf of or in carrying out a decision of an organised criminal group; as part of a case of dangerous recidivism; as a particularly severe case; or in connection with a race featuring in a gambling activity with betting on the course or outcome of a sporting events. Third, a person is criminally liable who has requested or accepted an undue benefit in order to influence (or as consideration for having influenced) the course or outcome of a sporting event.
Fourth, criminal liability is imposed on...