Paolo Bettini is under investigation for tax evasion by Italian authorities. The former Olympic and world road race champion has allegedly evaded paying up to 11 million euros in tax.
The retired Italian rider is alleging that he was resident in Monaco during the period under investigation. However, the Italian inland revenue are disputing this and are investigating whether Bettini was actually resident in Cecina, Italy, and therefore liable to pay the 11m euros tax bill.
So far, Bettini has not commented on the investigation by the Guardia di Finanza.
Bettini is not the first Italian cyclist to have been investigated for tax evasion this year. In September, Davide Rebellin was also charged with evading taxes.
In 2006, former sprinter Mario Cipollini was investigated for tax evasion. He, too, claimed that he was resident in Monaco.
Bettini won the Olympic Games road race in Athens, 2004, and the world championship road race in 2006 and 2007.
During his career, Bettini also won stages of the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a Espana and a strong of one-day races, such as Milan-San Remo (2003), Liege-Bastogne-Liege (2000 and 2002) and the Giro di Lombardia (2005 and 2006).
Bettini announced his retirement from the sport in September 2008.