Acquarone insists he is innocent in RCS Sport fraud investigation, says his name will be cleared over time
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Friday, October 11, 2013

Acquarone insists he is innocent in RCS Sport fraud investigation, says his name will be cleared over time

by Shane Stokes at 8:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
“I have always worked with greatest transparency and honesty, as well as with total dedication and loyalty to the RCS Group”

Michele AcquaroneEight days after Michele Acquarone was suspended from his position as head of the Giro d’Italia and the COO of RCS Sport, the Italian has communicated for the first time on the matter, asserting his innocence and vowing to return.

Acquarone and former CEO Giacomo Catano were handed the suspensions – which were described as precautionary rather than disciplinary – after a possible misappropriation of thirteen million euro at RCS Sport was detected.

An audit has been ordered and will look into transactions linked to RCS Sport in order to try to determine what has happened and who is responsible.

Acquarone missed the Giro d’Italia route presentation on Monday as a result, and today broke his silence with a statement saying that he had nothing to do with the matter and that this would be proven over time.

“Those who know me, are well aware that my professional style is based on three key concepts: fairness, respect and dialogue,” he wrote.

“Those who know me, also know that I hold the trust of fans and of people involved in the industry, at the centre of my heart, and if today I can benefit from such trust, it is because I have always worked with greatest transparency and honesty, as well as with total dedication and loyalty to the RCS Group.”

Acquarone has worked with RCS Group for fourteen years and RCS Sport for the past five. Since he took over from Angelo Zomegnan as Giro d’Italia chief in 2011, the race has become more successful and established a much higher profile.

He has proven popular with teams, riders and fans and the news of his precautionary suspension was a big surprise to many.

Acquarone said that he is confident that his name will be cleared and he will resume his previous roles.

“For the ties linking me to Giro fans and to the people involved in the industry, I want to strongly reassure everyone of my non-involvement in the matters that have been reported in the mass media over the last few days” he wrote.

“Today the life of a company is permanently marked in time, and I am certain that all the facts will soon be completely clarified. I only dream about the day I can return to my team, and get back to working towards the 2014 Giro d’Italia, with even greater enthusiasm than that which has driven me over these years.”



Acquarone’s full statement is as follows:


I have dedicated fourteen years of my life to the RCS Group, the last five of which I spent working tirelessly on strengthening and growing RCS Sport.

As director of Giro d’Italia, I sought to develop the prestige of this event as part of Italy’s heritage and for cycling fans all over the world. Looking at the results, I would say that I have succeeded.

It was much to my frustration however that I could not participate in the presentation of that which I consider one of my most accomplished creations, the 2014 Giro d’Italia, and I apologise to all the friends I could not meet with.

Those who know me are well aware that my professional style is based on three key concepts: fairness, respect and dialogue.

Those who know me also know that I hold the trust of fans and of people involved in the industry, at the centre of my heart, and if today I can benefit from such trust, it is because I have always worked with greatest transparency and honesty, as well as with total dedication and loyalty to the RCS Group.

For the ties linking me to Giro fans and to the people involved in the industry, I want to strongly reassure everyone of my non-involvement in the matters that have been reported in the mass media over the last few days.
Today the life of a company is permanently marked in time, and I am certain that all the facts will soon be completely clarified.

I only dream about the day I can return to my team, and get back to working towards the 2014 Giro d’Italia, with even greater enthusiasm than that which has driven me over these years.

Thank you for your support, and see you soon.

Michele Acquarone

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