Important reasons for judgement were released today by the Supreme Court of Canada addressing when consent to sexual contact can be taken away by fraud. What does this have to do with cheating in MMA? A lot. In short, given the Supreme Court of Canada’s reasons, consent to physical contact will be vitiated (taken away) in circumstances of fraud. Hidden PED abuse can meet this test exposing a cheating athlete to both criminal and civil prosecution.
In today’s case (R v. Hutchinson) the complainant “agreed to sexual activity with her partner, H, insisting that he use a condom in order to prevent conception. Unknown to her, H had poked holes in the condom and the complainant became pregnant.”. This led to conviction for aggravated sexual assault.
The Supreme Court of Canada upheld the conviction and reasoned as follows “the complainant voluntarily agreed to the sexual activity in question at the time that it occurred. The question is whether that consent was vitiated because she had been deceived as to the condition of the condom. This question is addressed at the second step. The accused’s condom sabotage constituted fraud within s. 265(3)(c), with the result that no consent was obtained. We would therefore affirm the conviction and dismiss the appeal.”
Section 265 of the Criminal Code deals with assault, and is as applicable to a fight as it is to a case of sexual contact.
Appreciating this, let’s say a combat athlete uses illegal PED’s and hides this fact from his competitor. A bout takes place with repercussions, be it profound injury or death. Reading the above paragraph substituting the appropriate facts would lead to reasons as follows:
the complainant voluntarily agreed to the (MMA Bout) in question at the time that it occurred. The question is whether that consent was vitiated because she had been deceived as to (the Defendant illegally using PED’s). This question is addressed at the second step. The accused’s (PED Abuse) constituted fraud within s. 265(3)(c), with the result that no consent was obtained. We would therefore affirm the conviction and dismiss the appeal.”
For a real world example of pre-bout cheating vitiating consent leading to criminal assault you can look to the Collins v. Resto litigation.
If you are looking to get ahead in the competitive combat sports business through PED abuse, don’t. Besides issues of integrity, the Criminal Code can derail any success gained through cheating and today’s case should serve as a valuable reminder for anyone thinking otherwise.