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The constantly growing number of arising referee corruption cases as well as their damage to the integrity of the sports society raises the question of why sports associations started availing themselves of referees as an instrument of contest design in the first place? Cedric Duvinage shows that economic theory allows to develop a deeper understanding of the role of a referee in a contest as well as of the danger of sports corruption by considering a referee’s influence on the competitors’ strategies in a contest. These insights provide the basis for efficient anti-corruption policies as well as their urgent implementation resulting from the current legal ambiguity regarding the prosecution of sports corruption in Germany.