An EBU Disciplinary Committee recently considered the following charges against John Franklin (Blenmar) & Vivianne Franklin (Rosewood3) at a hearing in May.
• That when they played in online games on the Bridgebase Online (“BBO”) platform organised by the English Bridge Union and Surrey, they had knowledge of some aspects of each other’s hands obtained by illicit communication with each other.
• That they took advantage of this information to make calls and plays which they were unlikely to have made had they not known the layout of the hands, to the benefit of their bridge scores in those sessions.
The defendants denied the charges. A disciplinary hearing was held. The Disciplinary Committee found the charges proved to their comfortable satisfaction, and that the defendants’ conduct constituted an offence under paragraph 3.2(iv) of the EBU Disciplinary Rules, being unfair or dishonest play.
The Committee imposed a sanction of suspension of EBU membership for a period of 3 years and 2 months (including two months for a breach of their interim playing suspension). This sentence is subject to appeal.