Italian former cyclist Paolo Bettini, officially a resident of Monaco, has been placed under investigation by the Italian tax authorities, who claim that he never actually moved there, and if found guilty he could face an income tax bill of €11 million.
According to Italian sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport, Bettini, winner of the Olympic road race at Athens in 2004 and twice world road champion, has confirmed that he is the subject of a tax investigation that began last year, but only learnt of the sum he may face paying through the media.
The Guardia di Finanza – Italy’s finance police – suspect that that the cyclist’s transfer of domicile to the Principality of Monaco was an accounting device designed purely to allow him to evade the tax he would otherwise have been liable to pay as an Italian resident.
Instead, they believe that Tuscany-born Bettini never actually moved house to Monaco in 2003 as he claimed, and continued to live with his family in Riparbella, near Pisa.
For his part, former Mapei-Quick Step rider Bettini says that he is available to meet with investigators to explain his reasons and clarify the situation.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.